The Greening of Growth

NAIROBI – The G-20 summit in Toronto offers an opportunity for a long, hard look at how green investments are assisting economic recovery and job growth in many countries, while generating environmental gains as well, including on climate change.

China, which channeled around one-third of its stimulus package into environmental sectors, has seen its GDP rise sharply, and employment in renewable energies such as solar has climbed to more than 1.5 million, with 300,000 workers added in 2009 alone.

Spain’s unemployment rate is high, but it would undoubtedly be higher without its policy to foster wind power and other clean-tech sectors, in which a half-million jobs have been created.

South Korea has invested well over 80% of its stimulus in areas ranging from sustainable transport and low-emission vehicles to energy-efficient buildings. This has now been backed up with a five-year green-growth plan aimed at cutting carbon dependency while producing 1.8 million jobs.