World Bank report: All countries can go green

Green light for go. The World Bank has released a report that pushes countries to go for inclusive green growth. Photo by: A of Doom / CC BY

The World Bank adds its voice to calls pushing for inclusive green growth in a new report that attempts to break beliefs that pursuit of a green economy is expensive and only for high-income countries.

The “Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development” report presents an economic case for adopting a green growth agenda. It argues that most existing growth patterns around the world are unsustainable and deeply inefficient.

The report highlights five key points about green growth: 

  • Greening growth is necessary, affordable and efficient. It is necessary because it is the path to sustainable development. It is affordable because strategies needed to achieve green growth often pay for themselves.

  • The main obstacles to greening growth are a lack of financing instruments, political barriers and entrenched norms and behaviors that need to be changed.

  • Greening growth is a multidisciplinary process that should integrate economic, psychosocial and political elements.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to greening growth.

  • Green growth policies must be carefully designed to make sure the results are inclusive.

Based on these arguments, the World Bank has proposed a three-pronged strategy to guide country efforts to green their growth agenda. The strategy calls for careful development of measures tailored to a country’s unique context, use of incentives to encourage smart decisions and use of innovative funding sources.

The World Bank is set to seek national commitments to green growth at the upcoming U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in June. It has recently received $40 million from South Korea to expand its green growth portfolio.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.