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green economy

Recently, in the New York Times Green Column, Bettina Wassener wrote about the “Plastic Disclosure Project,” which annually surveys industry on their overall plastic use and reports back on consumption trends. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about plastic consumption, create a “plastic footprint” akin to a carbon footprint for business, and hopefully motivate industry to change their consumption habits.

This innovative idea is just one example of the movement towards “Green Industry,” a term which recognizes that in a world of increasing resource scarcity, climate change, pollution, and depletion of natural capital, economic growth must rely on clean and efficient production processes. But what exactly is “Green industry”? More importantly, given the wide variety of creative and green solutions available, how can national governments foster Green Industry to save natural resources?

This piece originally appeared on Bloomberg Government and is reposted with permission.

Extreme weather events and climate- related disruptions are occurring with alarming frequency and intensity, whether it’s the Mississippi and Missouri rivers overflowing or the sight of parched earth across the U.S. Southwest.

As climate-change models show, we’re on a course for more extreme weather and other environmental disruptions that don’t just affect the people and infrastructure in their path -- they also have profound effects on businesses, the economy and government policy.

This piece was originally posted on the Ecosystem Services for Policy Alleviation website, and was written with WRI intern Julie Edmonds.

In these times of budget constraints, municipal authorities, donors and development NGOs are increasingly looking to services provided by nature as a less costly alternative to building expensive man-made infrastructure.

Such services, also known as ecosystem services, are the positive externalities that ecosystems such as forests, floodplains and wetlands provide for communities around them.

Though the Earth Summit, Rio+20, will take place next June, few governments have started to seriously assess their progress towards achieving the internationally agreed upon sustainable development goals outlined in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, according to a recent survey from the Access Initiative.

Time is running short. In order to have a successful Rio+20, governments must submit meaningful and ambitious goals to the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document by November 1, which will outline the agenda and discussion points for Rio+20.

To stay competitive, companies will need to find ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Record breaking wildfires raging in Arizona, massive flooding disrupting lives from Iowa to Vermont — extreme weather events have been at the forefront of America’s national consciousness. Yet these events and their repercussions are hardly limited to the United States. Think back last year to the floods that affected millions in Pakistan, or the wildfires and droughts that destroyed Russia’s wheat crops, causing price spikes around the world.

In a survey of global businesses, 86 percent described responding to climate risks or investing in adaptation as a business opportunity. So finds a new report jointly released yesterday by the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Oxfam and the World Resources Institute.

Already, businesses worldwide are beginning to see the risks and economic impacts of more frequent and intense storms, water scarcity, declining agricultural productivity and poor health.

The global recession has brought new attention to chronic structural flaws in current economic models and assumptions. As economies struggle to recover, many are taking a closer look at the broad concept of a "Green Economy," one that simultaneously promotes sustainability and economic growth What would this type of economy look like, and how could we get there? Here are responses to some of the most commonly-asked questions.

The global recession has brought new attention to chronic structural flaws in current economic models and assumptions. As economies struggle to recover, many are taking a closer look at the broad concept of a "Green Economy," one that simultaneously promotes sustainability and economic growth What would this type of economy look like, and how could we get there? WRI Managing Director Manish Bapna responds to some of the most commonly-asked questions:

Trees in the Greenhouse

Why Climate Change is Transforming the Forest Products Business

While there are risks for the forest products industry, it largely stands to gain from efforts to address global warming due to new opportunities for sustainable forestry.

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