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ESCAP, UNEP and ADB Release Asia-Pacific Green Growth Report

16 February 2012: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have released a report asserting that the challenges of resource constraints in the Asia-Pacific region are more serious than anywhere else, and proposing strategies for changing economic incentives to promote a green economy. The report was prepared as part of preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The report, titled “Green Growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific," stresses the need to “recalibrate the economy” to bring it into closer alignment with sustainable development. It underscores the need for economic incentives to promote investments in resource efficiency and natural resource protection, and calls for governance structures to be more adaptive and inclusive.

The report consists of six chapters. Chapter 1 describes the evolving policy landscape in which rising demand for resources, together with increasingly apparent impacts from climate change, are bringing together economic, social and environmental crises. It warns that if current trends continue, the carbon dioxde emissions of the region are likely to more than triple by 2050. Chapter 2 includes a detailed examination of resource use and efficiency trends. Chapter 3 outlines policy actions for bringing economic growth strategies into closer alignment with the objectives of sustainable development. Chapter 4 describes how new governance challenges can be addressed internationally, regionally, nationally and locally. Chapter 5 includes strategies to promote increased resilience, enabling societies and economies to resist and adapt to shocks. The sixth and final chapter comments on the implications of the report for the two themes of Rio+20, “green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” and “the institutional framework for sustainable development.” [Publication: Green Growth, Resources, and Resilience] [UN Press Release] [UN ESCAP Press Release] [ADB Press Release]