The Seoul G20 summit ended on 12 November, 2010. On November 9, AchimSteiner, the UN Undersecretary General and Executive Director of UNEP,wrote about the important role the G-20 can play ‘embedding afundamental transition to a more sustainable global economy that looksbeyond the current, narrow definition of wealth and GDP.’
TheG-20 has acted to stabilize banks and to counter the financial andeconomic crisis. Steiner hoped that the G20 meeting in Seoul could havebeen ‘a watershed in international financial and economic affairs, where the pledge, made at the G-20 in London, toward a green and moresustainable recovery moves from communique to concrete commitment.’
The G20 must deal with the important issues of averting economic crisessimilar to the recent recession and ‘the even bigger and more complexones emerging as a result of climate change, environmental degradationand unsustainable overexploitation of the planet’s natural assets.’
As Steiner pointed out, there are some very promising signs that more andmore countries are understanding the urgency of the climate changecrisis. Korea has earmarked close to 90 percent of its funds to a short- and long-term vision of green growth. The country’s leaders have alsomade the indivisible link between the leadership role of public policymaking in terms of unleashing private sector investment into clean techand other green sectors.
The costs associated with climate change are being factored into the thinking of an increasing number of banksand pension funds who are beginning to see rising risks to theirinvestments from the loss of ecosystems. Increasingly people understandthat the disruption to food supplies, supply chains and other challenges linked with natural resource losses are a much bigger threat thaninternational terrorism.
Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, sustainable investor and writer. He is the owner of THE GREEN MARKET, one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. He is also the author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, green investing, enviro-politics and eco-economics.