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1. The concept of "green economy"


In 1992, the Declaration of Rio de Janeiro on Environment and Development was adopted, in which the United Nations has adopted a program plan of action for sustainable development in the 21 century. The program plan was designed to achieve two objectives - high-quality environment and a healthy economy for all the peoples of the world.
June 20-22, 2012, 20 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Rio held the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as "Rio + 20".
As a result of the Rio + 20, all countries reaffirmed their commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The participants of the Rio + 20 called the Statistical Office of the United Nations to develop new indicators of sustainable development, which would complement the indicator "gross domestic product", and agreed to expand the membership of the Council of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Thus, in fact the country made a commitment to implement the transition to a "green" economy.

 

The notion "green economy"

"Green" economy - result of human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities (limited) (determination of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
"Green economy" - economic development model based on sustainable development and knowledge economy Environment (definition of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
"Green" economy is concerned not only about the growth of capital and labor and the resumption of information, but also renews the land (natural resources) as a factor of production. For economy this is necessary:
1) to create the conditions and implement actions to withhold the possibilities for earth self-regeneration: the ecosystem resilience of nature systems that support our existence;
2) to improve resource efficiency, thereby reducing the impact of the environment on individual sectors of the economy and human activity.
The concept of "green economy":
1) state support and private investments are directed to the dissemination of knowledge, the implementation of the initiatives, the creation of technologies and industries that can help reduce carbon emissions and pollution levels;
2) based on "green" technologies, involving the deeper processing of waste, reduction of power consumption or the use of alternative energy new, "green" economy sectors emerge, and "green" jobs also. Deeper use of raw materials lead to lower cost of manufacture of "green" products and increase profits for the "green" production compared to conventional, cause the possibility of establishing higher wages. As a result, there are social incentives to flow of labor resources in the "green" sector of the economy, and reducing poverty;
3) Improving energy efficiency reduces the need to burn fuel and reduce carbon emissions. This is an important condition for the self-regeneration of natural resources;
4) improvement resource efficiency leads to a reduction of waste, reduction of environmental pollution, sustainable existence of a sector of the economy for a long period, creates the conditions for maintaining biodiversity, maintaining organic household enhancing access to local natural resources and reduce poverty, the development of ecosystem services for the residents of the countries who have lost them.
Thus, the concept of "green economy" is developed in the development of the concept of sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of improving the stability of the global economy.

 


The principles of "green economy"

The "Guidelines for the" green "economy", published in September 2012, provided an overview of the six principles of "green" economy. Six principles of "green" fair and inclusive economy are as follows:
1) The validity and objectivity, both within one generation and between generations;
2) Consistency with the principles of sustainable development;
3) preventive approach to social influences and impacts on the environment;
4) Evaluation of natural and social capital, such as the internationalization of external costs, green accounting, costs throughout the lifetime and improve governance;
5) Sustainable and efficient use of resources, consumption and production;
6) The need to implement the existing macroeconomic objectives through the creation of "green" jobs, the eradication of poverty, improvement of competitiveness and growth in key sectors.

 

Green growth

Because now the development of new indicators for sustainable development is being carried out, which would complement GDP, during the transition period to keep track of how the economy of a region goes to the "green" economy, the concept of "green" growth is used.
"Green growth" - is the growth of GDP, which corresponds to the principles of "green economy" and focuses on "green" sectors as new drivers of development.
The emphasis on "green" sectors suggests a change in the structure of the economy, which is:
• pay more attention to the social dimension of sustainable development (social cohesion objective of several generations, providing access to a variety of resources, the fight against poverty and unemployment);
• based not only on the manufacturing sector, but increasingly based on mining and service sectors;
• environmentally friendly due to the predominant investment, production, trade, distribution and consumption, as well as the improvement of goods and services from an environmental point of view;
• leads to the use of natural resources in a sustainable manner, not dependent on fossil fuels;
• creates new economic opportunities, expanding the scope of economic development and reducing poverty;
• it is the "ecological production system" in agriculture, industry, research and development, in the administration and the service sector, which includes works that will help protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy consumption, and water resources due to the highly effective strategies; reduce carbon emissions; minimizing or preventing the formation of a whole all forms of waste and pollution. "

 

2. The experience of the European Union

Green economy in the European Union (hereinafter - EU) is guided by the so-called second generation of environmental problems, which include climate change and loss of biodiversity, developing generalized solutions to environmental problems of the first generation, which include pollution of air, water and soil, considered in the concept of sustainable development.
The EU has concentrated its efforts on the following tasks:
• transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient, safe and sustainable economy;
• resource efficiency of land, carbon, water and raw materials;
• develop policies for sustainable performance and sustainable consumption;
• develop training programs for "green" jobs;
• transition to green public procurement, including their amount, to improve their performance;
• development of EU legislation governing the handling of waste;
• support the efficient use of water resources through the establishment and monitoring purposes at the basin level;
• production of "green" products and a reduction of waste in all phases of the product life cycle, i.e., on the extraction of natural resources, the production process, use of the product and its ultimate elimination or recycling.
The main tools of "green" economy.
1) Eco-innovations.
"Eco-innovation" - innovative products and processes that help to reduce the environmental impact and maintaining "stable performance and consumption." Eco-innovations associated with the emergence of new economic activities, or even new industries (eg, recycling, reuse, etc.).
2) Carrying out the practice of eco-labeling / eco-design / energy efficiency in industrial production.
Eco-labeling - a complex of environmental information on products, processes or services in the form of text, individual graphic, color symbols (symbols), and combinations thereof. It is applied depending on specific conditions on the product, packaging (containers), plate, the label (tag), the label or in the accompanying documentation. Eco-labeling informs customers about the environmental properties of products and not only. Some signs taken at the international and national levels, but there are signs of private companies. Eco-labeling allows you to identify products that meet certain requirements and make a choice about its buying.
Eco-design - design direction, focused on key environmental protection over the entire life-cycle of the product. It takes into account, in the complex, all aspects of the creation, use and disposal of the product. Eco-design, together with usual and common requirements of beauty, comfort and price, pays particular attention to:
• consumption of resources in the design, manufacture, use and disposal;
• origin of materials. It is taken into account many aspects, starting with the protection of the environment by the manufacturer (supplier) to the respect for the rights of workers in enterprises, correct attitude towards farmers, etc.
• safety in the use of the product, the absence of injury, to minimize noise emission, radiation, vibration, and so on.
• simple and safe disposal, reuse of materials with minimal environmental damage.
Energy efficiency - the rational use of energy resources. Using less energy to achieve the same level of energy support of buildings or in manufacturing processes. Achieving economically justified efficient use of energy resources at the existing level of engineering and technology, and compliance with the requirements of environmental protection. This branch of knowledge is at the intersection of engineering, economics, law and sociology. In contrast to the energy conservation (conservation, energy conservation), mainly aimed at reducing energy consumption, energy efficiency aimed at finding useful (effective) energy expenditure.
3) Organic agriculture (farming).
Organic agriculture (farming) - is a system of production, which contributes to the improvement of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs of production that creates adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science with a view to benefit the environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
4) Ecosystem services.
Ecosystem services - benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. It include provisioning, regulating and cultural services that directly affects people, and supporting services necessary to maintain other services.
By providing services is defined include natural products derived from ecosystems. Regulating services are the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes (reservoirs mitigate local climate, pine forests reduce the morbidity, water is used for treatment). Cultural services are intangible benefits that people obtain from ecosystems (eco-tourism, education, cultural heritage, aesthetics).
By supporting services is defined soil formation, nutrient cycling, and other services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services.
The concept of ecosystem services suggests that when there are ecosystem services inthe market, people are starting to compare them with manufactured goods, and the result after some time is a fair value for their cost established in the market. As a result, for countries where ecosystem services are undervalued, the sphere of ecosystem services receives additional funds, and those who provide ecosystem services, gets the resources to support the ecosystem.

 

3. Transition to the Green Economy in Belarus

In 2012, the Ministry of Economy presented the "National Report on Sustainable Development of the Republic of Belarus based on the principles of green economy", which defined the Belarusian model of sustainable development and the directions for "greening" the economy. The report was developed along with the preparation of the conference "Rio + 20". The following priorities are related to social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainable development, as green economy aimed at obtaining multiple advantages in all of these aspects:
• energy security (supported energy efficiency);
• food security;
• adaptation to climate change (water, agriculture);
• improving waste management (household waste are still a big problem);
• increase in exports (to support innovation);
• development of small and medium-sized enterprises;
• increase productivity and profitability (manufacturing, agriculture);
• harmonization of standards and legislation with European standards and legislation;
• restoration of areas affected by the Chernobyl accident, and their use.
There are many possibilities for "greening" of economic growth in Belarus. Belarusian legislation is evolving towards harmonization with the European legislation, and some important measures have been or will soon be taken. Moreover, investments in environmental infrastructure, particularly in water and sanitation, as well as waste management, are essential elements of economic development.
At the strategic level in Belarus there is well-developed system of policies, programs and plans. There have been important steps taken: ecological principles have been introduced into the national economy for reducing the environmental risks and create conditions for the improvement of living standards.
To achieve the goals of sustainable development, National strategy of sustainable socio-economic development of Belarus for the period to 2020 (NSSD-2020) identified the development of the main components of the Belarusian model: the economy, the environment and the social sphere.
In the near-term the directions of implementing the principles of "green economy" in Belarus are as follows:
1. Further development of environmental legislation and applying of best practices in management of air, water, soil, wastes.
2. Enabling widening of organic farming sector, introduction of organic certification in the country and expanding the import of organic production
3. Promotion of eco-innovation solutions, based on high research potential of Republic of Belarus
4. Mitigation the consequences of climate change and providing support of adaptation measures using legislative and economic tools
5. Introduction of energy efficiency measures in urban areas of Republic of Belarus
6. Attracting foreign direct investments and promoting creation of green jobs.