What is Green Economy?

  • Vanshika Kaushik
  • Sep 01, 2021
  • Science & Technology
What is Green Economy? title banner

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”- William Shakespeare. 

 

Nature is a man’s best friend, that’s what they call it. But humans failed to replicate the friendly bond. With massive deforestation for modernizing societies, humans failed to reconcile with nature and that’s when the concept of Green economy came into play.

 

Economy is a simple word with multiple connotations, it simplifies the exchange process, it helps in money multiplication, it provides efficient ways for optimum resource utilization. Economy, is all about money and money is all about economy. 

 

Then will a green economy modify this age old concept or will it move hand in hand with the economy. If you are wondering the same, then please follow the blog to know more. 

 

 

Green Economy

 

According to Karl Burkart, the green economy is based on six sectors: Renewable Energy, Green Buildings, Sustainable Transport, Water Management and Waste Management. In simple terms, Green Economy is defined as an economic system that is entirely focused on the concept of “green”.

 

This type of economy advocates a macroeconomic approach, the investments and employment model, in this economy is based on green finance, green investments, and social equality. It showcases an updated model that follows a “nature” centric approach. 

 

Green economy is an addition to the age-old concept of sustainable development; it doesn’t overlook the importance of the sustainability model, but rather adds more features to the previous concept. 

 

Reducing carbon emissions, focusing on an equitable distribution of resources and maintaining a harmonious relationship between people (remaining socially inclusive) are the core beliefs of the green economy. 

 

Green Economy targets green investments. Countries that follow, green economy focus on expanding the public expenditure in solar energy, wind energy, hydropower and geothermal energy. Such an economy is inclined towards the production and consumption of organic foods. 

 

People living in a green economy reside in green buildings, invest in green stocks, store energy in green batteries, and use electrical vehicles as a way to commute. 

 

As nations are supremely focused on making money, the concept of safeguarding and preserving “mother nature” has taken a back seat in the 21st century. 

 

Before unveiling the concepts of green economy let’s learn why it became mandatory for countries to adopt a green model. 

 

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Need for Green Economy

 

Carbon emissions, gas emissions, ghg emissions are some different contributors to global warming. They do have different names, but all of these factors are equally responsible for increasing global warming. Electricity sector is a major contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity sector contributes to 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Industrial sector was the second largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. It contributed 21% to the greenhouse gas emissions. Burning fossil fuels, waste from mineral and metallurgical industries, and dumping waste in water bodies are some of the key reasons that led to an increase in ghg emissions.  

 

Transportation sector contributes 14% to the increasing gas emissions. Fossil fuels coal and petroleum are used to provide energy to various means of transportation. 95% vehicles use petrol and diesel, hence the transportation sector contributes heavily to the greenhouse emissions. 

 

Onsite energy generation, combustion of fossil fuels inside buildings also contributes to increase in gas emissions. Though it contributes only 6% to gas emissions the onsite energy generation process generates poisonous gases that are harmful for both flora and fauna. 

 

Statistics show that Fossil Fuel and industry emissions have risen to 34.07 billion metric tonnes in the year 2020, carbon Emissions are increasing at a steady rate. In 2002 the carbon emissions were 23 billion metric tonnes by the wake of 2019 carbon emissions had reached 36.44 billion metric tonnes. The increasing carbon emission is a result of modernization, and urbanization. The consistent increase is a major contributor to global warming. 

 

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This image describes increase in the global carbon emissions from 2002 to 2020

                                      Data shows increasing Fossil Fuel Emissions from 2002-2020(Statista)


Components of Green Economy

 

Have you ever wondered what the world will look like when seen from a green lens, a world with zero carbon emissions is indeed a dream slowly turning into reality. Following are the important components of the green economy that are slowly reshaping the future. 

 

  • Green Buildings: These type of structures are usually built by following an eco-friendly approach. Green Buildings have proper ventilation and recycling systems. Solar panels are located on the rooftops for electricity generation.

 

Non- toxic materials like clay plaster, mortar and straw bales are used in the construction of green buildings. The buildings constructed sustainably have dynamic designs that can withstand every climatic condition. It affixes parameters to ensure quality of life for its occupants. 

 

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  • Green Finance: Green Finance, is a discursive term that adjoins different terms like investments, debts, loans and bonds under a single umbrella. Eco investing, means investing in companies that promote sustainable practices. Green finance combines the world of finance with the environment. 

 

Public and private investments in green finance are undertaken  for the installation of solar energy panels, and hydropower plants. Even loans are extended to promote massive installation of solar panels and for the development of wind energy plants. 

 

  • Social Inclusivity: In precise terms a socially inclusive society values all the citizens residing in it. Being socially inclusive in terms of such an economy, means providing resources to people from all the different classes.

 

(Related Blog: What is Renewable Energy?)

 

It also promotes harmonious relationships between individuals living together in the society as one. It means that regardless of their backgrounds everyone gets equal opportunities. In a socially inclusive society people’s differences are respected. Basic clothing, living, and food needs of individuals are fulfilled in such a society. It focuses on promoting people’s freedom and proper distribution of resources

 

Watch this video to learn more about the concept of Green Growth.

 

Practical Examples

 

Examples of green economy can be traced from people’s everyday lives. Substantial growth in the organic farming sector, setting up plant based homes, and using a bicycle as a means of transportation, are some of the ways in which people are contributing to the green economy. 

 

1.Plant based homes:- Plant homes are healthy and sustainable. They have proper systems for rooftop harvesting, the blend of healthy homes with a tint of tradition is allowing people to experiment with the traditional styles of living. These homes have a designated mini recycling arena and proper ventilation systems that makes them better than traditional homes. 

 

The construction process in traditional homes usually takes a year but plant based homes are ready within six months. Teak, Bamboo, Sundari are some plants used for building homes. Plant based homes are sustainable and will lead the future of living.

 

 

2. Recycling Lithium Batteries:-. Lithium-ion batteries are used in laptops, and mobile phones. These batteries contribute to the increase in global warming as they use mining for the extraction of cobalt and lithium. 

 

Although they are the lifeline of processing systems their impact on the environment cannot be overlooked. Lithium batteries overheat and are non sustainable. Recycling lithium batteries is the best way to solve the existing problems. 

 

An advanced Li-cycle system is used for recycling lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are converted into stationery products. Post conversion battery materials are processed and recycled. Recycling lithium-ion batteries is a sustainable way to preserve the future energy. Listen to this podcast to understand the recycling process of lithium ion batteries. 
 

 

3. Organic Farming:- Natural farm manure is the best way to increase a crop’s production without using pesticides and fertilizers. This unique blend of green manure, bone meal and compost meal that only uses fertilizers derived from organic origin, is known as organic farming. 

 

Organic farming has become everyone’s favourite concept in the modern era, these are numerous advantages of organic foods. They increase the body's antibiotic resistance, enhance taste, promote overall health, and reduce the chances of pulmonary disorders.

 

This type of farming enhances soil’s nutrient potion. Organic farming is better for overall environmental health. It preserves nature as it is chemical free, reduces the risk of soil erosion, it is also helpful for the preservation of biodiversity. 

 

A lot of countries are adopting organic farming on account of its innumerable benefits. Organic products will eradicate the traditional methods of farming, sustainable farming is the future and organic farming is one step in the big plan. 

 

 

Countries adopting diverse green economy models

 

(Please note following data is taken from Green Policy Platform)

 

  • China Focusing on Renewable Energy Model:- China’s energy plans caters towards green sectors. It has allocated huge funds for the development of green forest areas, and for setting up solar power and hydropower plants. Its seven year energy plan will focus on green investments and green employment models. Once known as the biggest contributor to global warming, China’s centre of attention is clean energy, at the present moment. 

 

            (Related Blog: Can electric vehicles save the overall environment?)

 

  • Kenya’s Feed in Tariff Model:- Feed In tariff model is a way to improve the production in renewable energy sectors. Kenyan Government offers long term energy contracts to the renewable energy producers. These energy sectors further accelerate the growth of the economy, following a green model. 

 

  • Promoting Growth via Rural Ecological Infrastructure:- Indian Government focus on social inclusivity via introduction of new schemes. Schemes like NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) focus on improving the livelihood of people from marginalized sections of society. A part of labour law, this scheme touches the lives of casual labourers from rural areas and guarantees them “right to work”.  

 

  • Sustainable Industrial Planning in Brazil:- Curitiba is known as the sustainable city of Brazil, this state is well known for its urban development. The greenest city on earth promotes sustainable living. It has 400 square kilometres of forest land. It offers various programs to encourage individuals for recycling the waste material. 


This image describes different countries that are adopting green economy     

Countries adopting the Green Economy Model


 

 

Summing Up

 

Going green is no more a choice, it has become a necessity for the modern era. Green Economy unifies different concepts under a single umbrella. This economic theory has been quoted by environmentalists as the only way to save humanity. The world looks different when painted with a tint of green, it is  sustainable, it is inclusive and it has the capacity to ward off the demon of global warming. 

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