HA NOI — Pursuing green growth may seem a daunting task, but it is achievable if countries tackle political economy constraints, overcome entrenched behaviours and develop the needed financial tools, a World Bank report argues.
The report titled Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development, released in Ha Noi yesterday, says that going green is necessary and actually affordable, debunking the myth the approach is a luxury most countries cannot afford.
"All countries, rich and poor, have opportunities to make their growth green. Green growth is not inherently inclusive but can be designed to be so," the report says.
"It is the only way to reconcile the rapid growth required to bring countries to the level of prosperity they aspire to with the imperative of a better managed environment," emphasised Country Director for the World Bank in Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa.
Speaking at the green growth seminar to launch the report yesterday, Marianne Fay, chief economist of the bank's Sustainable Development Network said that the key message was that green growth would not be a panacea and "should be seen as a compliment to rather than a substitute for sound economic policies."
The report further elaborates that in the field of employment, green policies may create jobs but shortcomings in labour markets will not disappear just because environmental policies are adopted.
Fay said green growth was not all about creating jobs, in fact there would be jobless people in some industries so the government had to play an extremely vital role in minimising the social impacts during the transition phase.
Pham Hoang Mai, director-general of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment, said that Viet Nam had already been working with donors, particularly the International Labour Organisation, to provide labour training to newly-generated or potential green industries.
The Washington-based development bank chief economist Fay said political economy considerations would be no less important because it would lay a foundation for feasible green policies.
The World Bank report also challenges governments to not only measure what is being produced but take into consideration what is being used up and polluted in the process.
It says natural capital, including farmland, minerals, rivers and oceans, should be featured on a country's growth model and should be incorporated into national accounting. — VNS