Balades en expertise comptable :
Green Economy

Actu Anglais juillet 2022

Green Economy... décrypté par Jean-François Allafort, co-auteur des Fiches DCG UE12 Anglais des affaires, collection « Expert Sup », Dunod, et présenté par Ian Waddelow.


Green Economy

Welcome to the series of DUNOD podcasts designed to help improve your English in your own time on topics related to your studies.

In June 1992, Rio de Janeiro hosted the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The focus of this conference was the state of the global environment and the relationship between economics, science and the environment.

Twenty years after, we still face a double challenge : expanding economic opportunities for all in the context of a growing global population ; and addressing environmental pressures that could weaken our ability to seize these opportunities. Green growth is where these two challenges join. It is about developing opportunities while realising both these factors together.

Most specialists think that the reason why there are so many global crises associated with climate change, food, energy and finance is because money has primarily been invested in a “brown economy” (e.g. fossil fuels) instead of within the green sectors of renewable energy and the like. We should thus go from a brown to a green economy.

So how can we define a green economy ?

he United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines it as “low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”. In a green economy, growth in employment and income are driven by public and private investment into such economic activities, infrastructure and assets. This allows reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and better preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

A green economy means sustainable economic growth and development. According to the Bruntland Report in 1987, "sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable development balances the social, environmental and economic needs of everyone to ensure a better quality of life.

Broadly speaking, supporters of this branch of economics are concerned with the health of the natural environment and believe that actions should be taken to protect nature and encourage the positive co-existence of both humans and nature. They say that the environment plays a pivotal role in the economy. The health of any good or green economy is essentially determined by the health of the environment within which it fits.

However, Green Economy requires companies to acknowledge and become aware of their corporate social responsibility, to adopt new processes and to lower their environmental impact as much as possible. In many countries, this concept is still far from becoming a reality.

Let’s not forget either what was called the “green paradox” by the economist Hans Werner-Sinn in 2007. It is actually counterintuitive and controversial and it states that any policy that seeks to gradually reduce fossil fuel consumption will have the unexpected effect of accelerating the use of those fuels in the near term, because fossil fuel companies will seek to extract more profits from fossil fuels in the present, knowing that these profits will not be possible in the future.

And indeed, as we’ve seen with the war in Ukraine, if there is pressure on the supply of energy it’s easy to forego values and go back to fossil fuels rather than do without the necessary electricity to drive our computers, drive our lifestyles and drive our industry.

So, is the green economy the solution ? Without any doubt. There is no alternative. The future will be green, or not at all.