Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[EQ] UN World Economic and Social Survey 2011 - The Great Green Technological Transformation

World Economic and Social Survey 2011

The Great Green Technological Transformation

United Nations, New York, 2011

E/2011/50/Rev. 1 - ST/ESA/333

Available online PDF [251p.] at:

“………….The “green economy” —the concept that embodies the promise of a new development paradigm, whose application has the potential to ensure the preservation of the earth’s ecosystem along new economic growth pathways while contributing at the same time to poverty reduction.


There is no unique definition of the green economy, but, however imprecisely defined, there is broad agreement on the basic idea underpinning it, namely, that enhancing economic growth, social progress and environmental stewardship can be complementary strategic objectives and that the need for possible trade-offs among them en route to their realization can be overcome.


In this sense, the focus of the concept is fully consistent with that of the sustainable development concept eleborated by the United Nations, which perceives the economic, social and environmental dimensions as the three pillars of development and which stresses the importance of intergenerational equity in development, that is, ensuring that meeting the needs of the present generation does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs………”



I Introduction: why a green technological transformation is needed

The development challenge and the emerging environmental crisis

Unremitting increases in population and income

Lopsided distribution of population and income growth

Environmental impact of increased population and income

Sustainable development and the green economy paradigms

The need for a fundamental technological and structural transformation

Equitable growth within environmental boundaries

Economic growth is a precondition for poverty alleviation

Growth and environmental protection

Limits to growth in developed countries?

The great green technological transformation

What kind of technological revolution?

A technological revolution like no other

Societal transformations

The agenda

II The clean energy technological transformation

III Towards a truly green revolution for food security

IV Reducing human harm from natural hazards

Multidimensional impacts of natural disasters

Mapping disaster risks

Is climate change to blame?

Unequal impacts on livelihoods

Enhanced risk of “extreme” disruptions?

Approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Existing incremental approaches

The need for an integrated approach

Risk, uncertainty and catastrophes

The road to technological transformation

Harnessing local technologies

Institutional gaps

The scope of technological transformation

Existing technologies and knowledge systems

for adaptation and disaster prevention

Technology gaps to be bridged

Enabling sector-level disaster-resilient technological change

The energy challenge

Water and sanitation


Coastal zones

Institutional change and capacity building

Financing and external transfers

The way forward

V National policies for green development

Market and systemic failures

Uncertainty, externalities and public goods-related problems

Systems of innovation

National innovation systems

Sector-specific green innovation systems

“Greening” national innovation systems

The innovation process

Basic research, development and demonstration (RD&D)

Market formation and diffusion

Coordination and networks

Cooperation among universities, research institutions and firms

Networks, clusters and science parks

International networks and technology transfer

Education, consumption and environmental behaviour

Innovative approaches to education

Labour market policies

Institutions, industrial policies and infrastructure


Government procurement, subsidies and other incentives

Carbon instruments

Investment requirements and trade protection

Infrastructure and business environment

Government agencies


Private sector green funds

Venture capital

Microfinance institutions and microfinance

Foreign direct investment

Long-term institutional investors

Private and public sector risk-sharing

Policy implications

A framework for government decision-making

VI Building a global technology development and sharing regime

Two key global challenges

Global sustainable development commitments

Do stakeholders’ actions towards sustainable development add up?

Private-public sector roles in technology development and diffusion

Technology development and diffusion of industrialized

and developing countries must add up

Cooperative international scientific efforts need to be scaled up

Deficiencies of existing mechanisms

Private investment-dependent technological diffusion would be too slow

Inadequate investment rates due to volatile global markets and fiscal constraints

Inadequate financing for technological development and transfer

Restricted domestic policy space from international trade and investment regimes

Incoherence and weaknesses in international governance

Reforming multilateral trading rules and international finance

to accelerate green technology development and diffusion

Establishing an effective global technology development and diffusion regime

Orienting the intellectual property rights regime towards

stimulating innovation of green technologies

Multilateral trading rules should grant developing countries

greater flexibility in conducting industrial policies

Financing of green technology transfers necessitates

domestic and international financial reforms

Upgrading levels and capabilities of global governance



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