All production and consumption has a direct impact on the environment in terms, e.g., of pollution, waste and resource depletion, which in turn affects human well-being and exacts an economic cost. At the same time, all economic activity depends on the resources and services that come from the natural world. No economy is viable if it undermines its own resource base.
The concept of the green economy was developed to capture this multi-directional relationship between the economy and the environment. In practice, this concept is not easy to implement. There is also the danger of reducing the green economy to a simple set of environmental policies. Many shades of green make up the complex picture of the green economy. As interest in this economic model grows, there is a need to clarify the concept and familiarize key decision-makers, such as parliamentarians, with the ways in which it can apply to different national contexts.
In line with the partnership between UN Environment and the IPU, this issue brief aims to provide parliamentarians with a basic understanding of the green economy and of the policies required to transition toward it.