Green growth is not just for rich nations: World Bank

May 10, 2012
The World Bank urged global governments Thursday to heed the environment when pursuing prosperity, rejecting what it called a myth that green growth is a luxury most countries cannot afford.

The World Bank urged global governments Thursday to heed the environment when pursuing prosperity, rejecting what it called a myth that green growth is a luxury most countries cannot afford.

The bank in a report said , entrenched behaviour and a lack of appropriate financing systems are the chief obstacles to development.

It urged governments to rethink their approach to growth, measuring not only what is being produced but what is being used up and polluted in the process.

"There is a frequent that cannot stimulate growth without degrading the environment and burning the cheapest and dirtiest sources of energy," said Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, in a statement.

"This simply isn't true. Developing countries won't replicate growth patterns of previous centuries, nor should they try. They need to grow smarter, greener and quicker."

The report was released at a Green Growth Summit in South Korea, which will discuss ways to support countries pursuing environmentally friendly growth and green economy strategies.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said the two-day meeting of and experts can "give confidence to those who believe these discussions (on green growth) are only futuristic".

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, who is pushing to develop environmentally friendly technologies and industries as a new growth engine, said a Seoul-based think-tank would be launched as an international organisation later this year.

Seoul set up the Global Green Growth Institute in 2010, and Lee said that government ministers would upgrade the organisation at a meeting in in October.

The ministers will meet to prepare for December's UN in Qatar.

"Green growth is now transcending borders and becoming a global asset," Lee said in a speech.

Among the main speakers was Masayoshi Sen, founder and CEO of Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank Corp.

He urged a worldwide end to "uncontrollable" nuclear power, following last year's Fukushima nuclear accident which led to the testing of children and others for radiation.

"We should not repeat this tragedy, for the sake of these children and humankind. So I say no nuclear power anywhere in the world," Sen said.

He called instead for a massive harnessing of solar and wind power in places like the Gobi Desert, and an electrical "super-grid" linking Asian nations.

Explore further: Dutch seek to harness energy from salt water mix

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China leads Asia's push into green technology: UN

May 06, 2010

China is leading a push by Asia-Pacific nations into green technology, which could be their ticket to sustained growth and reduced reliance on Western markets, the United Nations said Thursday.

World needs joint nuclear safety approach

Oct 13, 2011

The global upsurge in the use of nuclear power in countries such as China, Russia and Britain must be accompanied by a greater focus on security and the management of nuclear waste, a report said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

16 hours ago

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

18 hours ago

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline

23 hours ago

Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose ...

Nanodot team aims to charge phones in less than a minute

Nov 25, 2014

The world of smartphone users, which is a very large base indeed, is ripe for better battery solutions and an Israel-based company has an attractive solution in store, in the form of nanodot batteries that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.