3 September 2009 – Australian needs to start shaping the new Green Economy now, according to a paper released last week by the Total Environment Centre’s business engagement arm, Green Capital.

“Australian politics is dominated by outdated arguments about climate change, and mired in ad-hoc quick fix solutions which fail to connect the dots.  We’re also falling behind the debate about green economic solutions which is taking place overseas,” said TEC director Jeff Angel.

“The green economy isn’t going to miraculously grow itself. It’s high time Australia’s political parties showed us the leadership we urgently need.”

The paper, Australia’s New Green Economy equation: Can environment + enterprise = a sustainable future? points to evidence of The New Green Economy taking shape around the world including:

  • The US State of Washington (with an economy similar in size to NSW) assigning a leading economic agency to develop its “green economy strategy framework” defined as the “greening” of our existing economy
  • The global market for environmental industries is predicted by advisers to the German Government to reach $US4400 billion in revenues a year by 2020, bywhich time they are forecast to be Germany’s largest industrial sector
  • The United Nations Environment Program’s Green Economy Initiative, introduced in 2008, states that mobilising and re-focusing the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and natural infrastructure (such as forests and soils) is the world’s best bet for real growth, combating climate change and triggering an employment boom in the 21st century
  • President Barack Obama’s framing of climate action and carbon trading for the US as a matter of jobs and energy security: “Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security. My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership in climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.”
  • Corporate initiatives such as US retail giant Walmart, which in July 2009 announced moves to place environmental disclosure requirements on all of its 100,000-plus suppliers
  • The UK released its Low Carbon Transition Plan in July 2009, outlining how Britain will cut emissions set out in the nation’s Budget of 34 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020. It says a 21 per cent reduction has already been delivered – equivalent to cutting emissions entirely from four cities the size of London – and proposes that “transforming the country into a cleaner, greener and more prosperous place to live is at the heart of economic plans for Building Britain’s Future”.

See the full report

A series of discussions about, What exactly is meant by a “green economy” is being hosted by Green Capital. The next will be in Sydney at a 7am breakfast at the Hilton Hotel.

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