Promoting “Green Growth” in the Development Conversation

Last week, an audience at the Wilson Center heard new recommendations from the World Bank on how to get countries to grow green. Their report, titled Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development, calls on governments to “think green when pursing growth policies which can be inclusive, efficient, affordable, and necessary to sustain economic expansion in the years ahead.” It makes the point that sustainable growth is critical to meeting the needs of developing nations, and that unsustainable growth will lead to greater socio-economic problems if environmental and social considerations are not accounted for.

The World Bank’s “Inclusive Green Growth” model recommends using more than just a nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to evaluate its economic growth. It requires using “case-by-case analysis” to minimize short-term costs and promotes enacting “well-designed” regulations to encourage private-sector development that still protects the environment. The World Bank explicitly states that “green growth is not anti-growth,” and presents a plan that implements policies which will allow for greater development that is also “greener” development.

The model that the World Bank has developed focuses on three main pillars to achieving sustainable development: economic, social and environmental sustainability. Economic sustainability requires tailoring a country’s sustainable development strategies to specific circumstances. Meanwhile, social and environmental sustainability encourages sound decision-making by stakeholders in the hopes of building better partnerships between the public and private sectors to meet “up-front capital needs with innovative financing tools.” This recent report by the World Bank highlights how environmental and sustainable growth will be the key to generating a more prosperous and sound world economy. The Inclusive Green Growth project is so important because it points out the need to change our attitude and approach international development efforts moving forward.

Click here to view the video from the event.

Posted By: Jonathan Sherman

Sources: The World Bank

Photo Credit: 24 Solar Panels courtesy of Flickr user Michael Coghlan


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