Biomass&Bioenergy – The development of the green economy creates discrepancies among experts for its benefits and potential risks. While some consider that could aggravate social inequalities and concentrate the biological richness, others to consider protective to the environment and creates employment.
“The green economy does not question the current production systems such as the agribusiness, or talk of changing consumption patterns,” criticized Silvia Ribeiro, Director for Latin America’s non-governmental Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration” (ETC). Silvia told to “Terramérica” that, for example, “concerned about the massive use of the biomass to produce fuels and the new technologies, such as synthetic biology that can generate levels of toxicity.
“In his report entitled” Who will control the green economy? “, Published on December 15, the ETC Group argues that the operation of the green economy will benefit the large corporations especially if there is no change in production models and consumption of commodities and services and on world governance. She adds that the large transnational energy, pharmaceutical, agribusiness and chemical will build alliances in order to exploiting biomass and to appropriate of the control of natural resources such as land and water.
The study is centered on areas such as synthetic biology, bioinformatics and genomics data generation, marine and aquatic biomass, seed and pesticides, plant gene banks, fertilizers, mining, forestry and paper, veterinary pharmaceutical and animal genetics. The United Nations Environment Program (Pnuma) defines the green economy as “a system of economic activities related to production, distribution and consumption of commodities and services that result in improved human welfare over the long term, at the same time that does not expose the future generations to environmental risks and ecological meaningful shortages.
This new variant will be the overarching theme of the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio +20), taking place at June 20th to 22nd on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when it complete 20 years from the first the Earth Summit, also held in Rio in 1992. The global goals of this meeting are a renewed political commitment around the sustainable development, evaluation of the progress for the internationally agreed goals over the issue and the approach of new challenges.
Furthermore, the summit will focus the construction of a he green economy within the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, as well as an institutional context for this purpose. Pnuma advocates the approach that promoting since 2008, while recognizing the validity of the existing worries. “The green economy is an imperative. One of your goals is social equality and human welfare. If you recognize the environment as a source of wealth,” he told to Terramérica American Steven Stone, Head of Economy and Trade Office of Pnuma at Geneva.
Steven visited Mexico last week to present a national prospective study on the green economy, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and by private the Institute Technological de Monterrey. “The real dispute is know if who is causing most damage to the environment has actually contributing to what should be done”, says the director of the Faculty of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Roberto Escalante.
“So there is a risks of in the case of greening the economy, if deepen inequalities, playing on the least have the highest cost of environmental impacts,” warned Bob. The academic perform a search, which provides complete in the first quarter of this year, about the effect of agriculture and deforestation on the environment, at the request of Semarnat.
In view of Rio +20 process, civil society organizations of Latin America, driving the relaunch of the sustainable development, with emphasis on social and ecological aspects and a new economy to combat poverty and wealth concentration. The World Economic and Social Survey 2011from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, recommends an investment of US$ 1.9 billion annually on green technologies over the next 40 years, to combat the effects of climate change.
Pnuma believes that green investing can contribute to reducing the demand for energy and water and from carbon footprint of production of goods and services. “There are many alternatives, the most striking is the economy of the peasant, which represents 70% from global agricultural production,” recommended Silvia, whose organization have focuses on the environmental, social and economic effects of new technologies.
The ETC Group’s report suggests the establishment of antitrust regimes, to avoid market concentration, the central role of agriculture and food sovereignty and evaluation. It also advocates the international spread of technologies “that are not able to confront of systemic problems of crises of poverty, hunger, or environmental.” “One of the key issues is the valuing of nature, which is not considered. It is not part of the economic calculation. You need to value these services with limits and regulations,” said Steven.
Meanwhile, Roberto, whose research aims to provide alternatives to carbon-free agricultural production, proposed the use of new technologies, the participation of universities and the implementation of comprehensive public policies. “The environmental issues are, in fact, tax issues. This will be a great discussion at Rio +20. New vision must prevail, putting the economy world the prices of the environment and establish a scheme that guarantees equity,” explained Mexican scholar.
Source: IPS – EcoAgência. January 23rd, 2012
Click here to read the complete version of this article published in Portuguese
Translated by Gilberto Silber Schmidt
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