Uncovering Pathways towards an Inclusive Green Economy: a Summary for Leaders

United Nations Environment Programme (2015)

An Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) has evolved from earlier work on Green Economy. In its simplest expression, such an economy is low carbon, efficient and clean in production, but also inclusive in consumption and outcomes, based on sharing, circularity, collaboration, solidarity, resilience, opportunity, and interdependence. It is focused on expanding options and choices for national economies, using targeted and appropriate fiscal and social protection policies, and backed up by strong institutions that are specifically geared to safeguarding social and ecological floors. And it recognizes that there are many and diverse pathways to environmental sustainability. This paper speaks to the multiple benefits – economic, health, security, social and environmental – that such an approach can bring to nations, mindful of the differing challenges faced by states along the development continuum, be they developed, developing, emerging, or in conflict. It argues for policies that are nuanced, context-dependent, and modulated. An integrated approach can help states understand how to maximize, prioritize, and sequence the different benefits to human well-being that can be derived from a healthy environment. At the end of the day, an inclusive green economy must provide not only for jobs and income, but for our health, our environment and our future. This is our common challenge: creating the conditions for enhanced prosperity and growing social equity, within the contours of a finite and fragile planet.