UN: US$1.9 Trillion Needed Annually to Avert “Major Planetary Collapse”

By: EW News Desk Team   Date: 6 July 2011

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06 July 2011

A new UN report conducted by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs has called for investments of US$1.9 trillion annually over the next 40 years in green technologies in order to create a “fundamental technological overhaul of production processes worldwide” and avoid “a major planetary collapse.”

The World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation argued that the current economic growth pathways were unsustainable and thus new investments in the “green economy” were needed to “ensure environmental sustainability and reverse ecological destruction.”

At least US$1.1 trillion of the US$1.9 trillion suggested by the report will be needed in developing countries so as to meet increasing food and energy demands.

Clean energy technologies, sustainable farming and forestry techniques, climate proofing of infrastructure, and technologies reducing non-biological degradable waste production, are just some of the areas whereby investment was needed in the developing countries.

"The necessary set of new technologies must enable today's poor to attain decent living standards, while reducing emissions and waste and ending the unrestrained drawdown of the Earth’s non-renewable resources."

The report has been seen as a pre-cursor to the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 Conference that will take place on June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General of UN-DESA and Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference told reporters, “this report shows how important technological progress will be for ensuring a future that benefits everyone while protecting our planet.

For the required technological revolution to be successful, the report finds that it must occur within a limited timeframe — sooner rather than later — because of growing ecological pressures.”

According to the lead author of the report, Rob Vos, “Business as usual is not an option.”

“Even if we stop the global engines of growth now, resource depletion and pollution of our natural environment would continue because of existing production methods and consumption habits. Without drastic improvements in and diffusion of green technologies, we will not reverse the ongoing ecological destruction and secure a decent livelihood for all of humankind, now and in the future.”

Read the full report at UN.org

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