Future economic leadership depends on green economy, says UN Chief

The future of economic leadership and growth is tied to green economy, according to United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres. Mr. Guterres’ statement was part of a call to action on climate change delivered to an audience of students, academics, and business leaders on 30 May 2017 at New York University. These words highlight a growing recognition of the role that green policymaking will play in shaping economies of the future.

During the speech, Guterres underscored the need for both national governments and private industry to become highly engaged in the worldwide green transition, proposing “Those that will be betting on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, on the green economy, will be the ones that have a leading role in the economy of the 21st century.”

Guterres furthermore outlined the downside of inadequately embracing green measures, explaining that “Those who fail to bet on the green economy will be living in a grey future [but] those who embrace green technologies will set the gold standard for economic leadership in the twenty-first century.” The message is clear: economies of the future will depend upon green policies and measures. 

The economic growth referred to by Guterres may be a result of the various opportunities that climate action provides, such as the creation of jobs, growth of key industries, and international cooperation to name a few. PAGE’s work in 13 countries, focusing on putting sustainability at the heart of economic policymaking has provided witness to these benefits first hand.

PAGE’s partner countries, as well as nations across the globe, are increasingly recognizing a green economy pathway as key to addressing poverty and climate change, and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. As Guterres suggests, first movers towards this sustainable and resource efficient economic system will reap benefits of increasing profits, wellbeing, and environmental resilience.

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Photo credit: UN/Mark Garten