Green Growth: Economic Growth with Environmental Protection

Feature | 20 June 2012

One theme of Rio+20 is the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Green growth can be seen as a way to pursue economic growth and development while preventing environmental degradation, and a means to achieve a green economy. Here are 12 things to know about green growth.

  1. Green growth is economic progress that fosters environmentally sustainable low-carbon and socially inclusive development.Green growth strategies can help build a "green economy", though there is no "one-size-fits-all" prescription for fostering greener growth. Source: Towards Green Growth, 2012
  2. Countries in the Asia and Pacific region are taking the lead in implementing green growth by pursuing and investing in green strategies and policy reform, and making policy statements in this sense. Source: Green growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific, 2012
  3. As of 2005, the Asia and Pacific region required three times more resources than the rest of the world to create one unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Resource efficiency - using fewer resources per unit of gross domestic product- is a key factor in the region's sustainable development. Source: Green growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific, 2012
  4. Asia and Pacific countries are among those predicted to suffer most from climate related threats. The region has seven of the top 10 countries at greatest risk to natural disasters and climate-change. Three of the top 4 are small Pacific Island states. Source: World Risk Report 2011;ADB Climate Resilience Program
  5. About two-thirds of the $8 trillion needed for infrastructure investment in Asia and the Pacific between 2010 and 2020 will be in the form of new investments creating tremendous opportunities to design, finance and manage green growth. Source: Green growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific, 2012
  6. Energy demand in the region is rising and is estimated at 2.4% annually through 2030, compared with the global rate of 1.5% for the same period. ADB supports energy efficiency measures and development of renewable energy to decrease the rate of climate change and increase energy security in Asia and the Pacific. Source: ADB Clean Energy Program
  7. ADB's Sustainable Transport Initiative, approved in 2010, has re-focused ADB transport operations on sustainability, with 30% of transport lending for urban transport and 25% for railways by 2020. Source: ADB Sustainable Transport Initiative Operational Plan
  8. For the last 35 years, global demand on natural capital has exceeded the ability of many ecosystem services to regenerate. As a result, biodiversity in the region is declining at a rate that is twice the global average. Source: Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific, 2012
  9. It is estimated that every $1 spent on conservation would yield over $100 in the economic and social value of ecosystems. ADB is supporting sustainable management of large-scale ecosystems throughout the Asia and Pacific Region. Source: Asia Pacific Ecological Footprint Report, 2012
  10. Asian cities have a critical role in the transformation towards a green economy as they account for more than 80% of the region's GDP.The UN estimates that 11 out of 20 mega-cities are in Asia and the Pacific. Source: Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific, 2012; ADB Urban Operational Plan
  11. The transformation to a greener economy could generate 15 to 60 million additional jobs over the next two decades and lift tens of millions of workers out of poverty. Source: Working towards sustainable development: Opportunities for decent work and social inclusion in a green economy, 2012
  12. The transition to green economy will require new indicators that go beyond income poverty and GDP to a broader way of tracking economic, social and environment progress and well being. Bhutan's "Gross National Happiness" index is receiving renewed attention as one way of measuring well-being. Source: Building an Inclusive Green Economy for All, Poverty and Environment Partnership, 2012