“Green Economy: Does it include YOU?” – The best WED theme ever

5th June 2012

Today, UNEP is celebrating World Environment day with the theme “Green Economy: Does it include YOU?” With Rio +20 just around the corner “Green Economy “ has been hanging on every environment website, related agendas,  news, blogs, programs and proposals for months now and UNEP’s WED theme just drove it home, into our skin.

If we look closely, the words “Green” and “Economy” have been conflicting with each other, ever since mankind woke up from its deep ignorant sleep, one fine morning of industrial age and realized that it has been messing up with earth all the while. Since then, the world has been divided into two schools of thoughts: one who believes in “economic development at all costs” and the other who believes “earth is being trashed up for economy. “  Developers didn’t want to compromise with development and kept on trashing the earth while the latter kept holding placards of “sustainable development” to stop reckless development but helplessly watched the deteriorating tragedy of earth.

And then the recession around the world changed it all. Because the recession made the developers think of the flaws and constraints of the economic model and made them think why the model for reckless economic development failed. And the answer had been there all the while in the placards; the economy failed because it was not sustainable. The economy failed because the environment and sustainable issues had been disregarded from the economic development. Then, the two words which had been conflicting for decades were brought together as “Green Economy”.

The very combination creates a huge difference. UNEP has defined “Green Economy” as the one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Simply put, it is a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive economy. “Green Economy” is an answer to all. It is an answer to the entire placards holder who have been trying to conserve the earth, the developers who have been persuading economic growth and also to the ignorant few who have been rats in different races.

Earlier it was used as “sustainable Development.” The meaning is the same in both, only the priority has been slightly changed. The earlier combination “Sustainable Development” focused on development, the priority was on development. “Development”- action oriented process and the combination with word “Sustainable” gave the sense as “continue developing within the existing framework but give a due concern to environmental conservation as well.” The new term “Green Economy” on the other hand focuses on a whole new idea, a whole new economy which is directly based on sustainable, Green ideologies. With this combination “sustainability” is the main focus and implies on a whole new economy around the sustainable idea. If earlier terms focused on balancing environmental exploitation with conservation practices, the latter terms focus on new, cleaner, greener alternatives where environment will be exploited as less as possible. A victory for all!

But the new terms had been confusing people, just like the earlier terms had taken time to be understood. The term “Green Economy” was either too broad, or too vague or too confusing for the general people to understand.  The second part of the WED theme “Does it include you?” solves it. The interrogative form implies that “green Economy” , whatever it is, should include you (the reader). This would make the reader think what it is and how it would include them. This would enable readers to learn more about green economy, share more on the concept, clear their confusions and assess if it is already including them or not. If not, it would even make people think why it is not accessible for them and how can they make it accessible for all. The interrogative part also complements the definition of the Green Economy that it is equally inclusive for all. Green Economy should include all alike; the developed and developing, the rich and the poor, the experts and the ignorant, the current and the future generations.

So, with this theme UNEP has hit Bull’s eye this year. With this theme, UNEP has summarized all its earlier priorities and concerns, the different issues it had been raising at different times and moved towards the common solution: a whole new revolutionized economic perspective. This theme has given us all the choice to reassess, rethink and choose between the dwindling, faulty reckless economy or a cleaner, sustainable, promising Green Economy. The choice is again ours this time, and UNEP has made us prepare ourselves better to choose wisely.

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