On the road to Rio: Green is good – but is it good enough?

Is green growth actually ‘green’ and can it truly improve the lives of the global poor, asked the Nordic conference on green economy held in Oslo (1 March 2012) by the Norwegian chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers. According to the Norwegian Minister for the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, the ‘Nordic model’ can help to create a social consensus for a greener economy, e.g. provide leadership in decoupling of growth and emissions.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) were also discussed at the conference, with a specific focus on the social aspects. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen, representing the TEEB initiative, argued that in order to be sustainable a green economy needs to build on a solid understanding of the true value of nature. In particular, there is a need to better appreciate the economically invisible values of nature in supporting our wellbeing, such as the importance of nature’s resources and processes to the global poor.

The Nordic Council of Ministers will be participating in the Rio+20 Summit, contributing to the discussion on green economy and bringing forward messages from the Oslo conference. In addition, insights from a number of Nordic initiatives highlighting the value of natural capital are envisaged to be showcased in Rio. These include, for example, ongoing scoping assessment on the socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in the Nordic countries (led by IEEP) and outcomes of raising awareness on the value of nature at municipal level.

See presentation by M. Kettunen.

For more information on the scoping assessment on the socio-economic importance of Nordic ecosystem services (TEEB Nordic) please contact Marianne Kettunen.