The green economy is a means of pursuing economic growth and development while preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and natural resource scarcity.
Green economy, what is it?
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), a green economy is an economy that leads to improving human well-being and social equity while considerably reducing environmental risks and the scarcity of resources.
Eight key business sectors will experience a major transformation in their organization and in their businesses:
- The forest industry
- The fishing
- The resource-intensive manufacturing industry
- The recycling
The consequences on employment will be significant; the green economy will lead to the emergence of new professions; it will above all require the acquisition of new skills to practice traditional professions and will modify the hierarchy of professions that recruit.
The advantages of the green economy
The green economy allows for improved opportunities to adapt to environmental risks and pressures. Thanks to it, poverty and social disparities are reduced; It provides society with a healthy and clean environment. The green economy enables a significant improvement in human security. This is possible because this economy resolves conflicts for food, water, and land. It promotes the reduction of air, soil, and water pollution. Moreover, the green economy represents a source of employment opportunities for members of society since It provides opportunities, especially in the fields of renewable energy, construction of green buildings, recycling, etc.
What are the goals of the green economy?
The balance of natural capital
The green economy seeks to maintain the balance of natural capital. This means that it aims to use only the resources that the Earth is able to reform. It is, therefore, a question of not consuming more than what the natural ecosystems can provide.
For example, an oil field exploitation activity cannot be a "green" activity. It is even described as "black" since it draws a raw material that nature cannot manufacture in a few years.
Equitable distribution of resources
The green economy pursues an objective of social justice by ensuring that natural resources are equitably distributed between different populations and between generations.
For example: at the international level, access to drinking water, an essential natural resource, is highly unequal.
Changes in production and consumption patterns
The green economy promotes more responsible production methods in accordance with the principles of industrial ecology, for example, the circular economy and consumption patterns that are more respectful of the environmental and societal challenges of our modern worlds.
The sectors of activity of the green economy
The green economy is considered a pillar of growth for employment with the improvement of existing activities and the appearance of new activities. The different activities are classified into three poles:
Environmental protection includes activities that contribute to reducing the consumption of energy, raw materials and water, greenhouse gas emissions, forms of waste and pollution, and to protecting biodiversity.
The management of natural resources concerns the activities of energy control, management of water resources, recycling, production, and use of renewable energies.
Research and Development (R&D) is an important part of the green economy, in particular thanks to public research.
Jobs and professions in the green economy
The green economy is set to develop in the coming decades with a major transformation of organizations and professions.
These professions with an environmental vocation stricto sensu aim to measure, prevent, control, and correct the negative impacts and damage of human activity on the environment. Some of these trades already exist (forest ranger, water quality measurement technician, etc.). On the other hand, others are still new (indoor air quality diagnostician, eco-industrial operations supervisor, etc.).
Greening professions are a much broader group of professions than the previous one. Their initial purpose is not environmental, but their content is evolving to incorporate this type of issue. This typology brings together professions affecting more or less all sectors: building, transport, agriculture-forestry, maintenance of green spaces, industry, tourism, entertainment, research, purchasing, etc. Thus, an architect, a heating engineer, a truck driver, or a mountain guide can participate in the green economy!
Green economy and circular economy:
The ambition of the Climate Plan to make a country the number one in the green economy involves directing economic development towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly activities. This involves creating a framework conducive to the emergence and subsequent deployment of green technologies and responsible organizational methods.
All sectors of activity can register their activities towards the green economy. This concept refers to:
On the one hand, eco-activities, i.e., activities whose purpose is the protection of the environment, such as water management, waste management, or the production of renewable energy;
On the other hand, economic activities, whatever their sector, develop processes that pollute less, emit less greenhouse gases, or consume less natural resources.
The circular economy is one of the components of the green economy. This concept designates an economic model whose objective is to produce goods and services in a sustainable manner by limiting:
The consumption and waste of resources (raw materials, water, energy),
The production of waste.