Economic growth and industrialisation – together with a rising number of consumers caused by population growth – often lead to unsustainable consumption of natural resources. Climate change impacts are putting additional pressure on ecosystems, societies and economies, especially in developing countries. As a consequence, new environmental and climate-friendly development paths are needed, as well as socially sound forms of economic development, that generate broad-based employment and income and contribute to the reduction of poverty.
What is a "Green Economy"?
Green Economy is defined by UNEP as "an economy that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities". It is a holistic concept, ensuring a balance between social, ecological and economic dimensions while promoting economic growth and employment. Green Economy as one of the key themes for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the related concepts of ‘Green Growth’ and ‘Low‐Carbon Development’ have received significant international attention over the past few years as a tool to address the 2008 financial crisis.
The intervention areas addressing a green economy are manifold and include agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industry, tourism, transport, waste, energy and water. Supporting factors which play a role in the key intervention areas cover institutional and human capacity development (green skills) and the development of adequate basic conditions (e.g. finance mechanisms).
GOPA’s Green Economy Competence Unit (GECU)
On the pathway to a Green Economy, integrated solutions are required on the basis of combined expertise and technical know-how in various intervention areas. The GOPA Group comprises specialised consulting companies and operational units covering all the aforementioned intervention areas. Since September 2012, the GOPA Group has been bundling its efforts in the newly established Green Economy Competence Unit (GECU) which is able to provide the expertise and integrated concepts required to address the challenges of a green economy. The GECU is an interdisciplinary working group and knowledge platform focusing on the acquisition and implementation of projects supporting the shift towards a Green Economy. GECU reaps the benefit of more than 45 years of project experience in all main sectors relating to Green Economy. It also provides expertise and holistic concepts in the areas of environmental & climate protection and economic sustainability, as well as social equity and inclusion. GECU members are participating in the current international debate on Green Economy and help to integrate the concept in the GOPA Group’s day-to-day activities.
For a greener tomorrow
In addition, GECU supports the GOPA Group in reducing its environmental footprint by systematically improving the corporate environmental management system. Abroad, GECU advises clients and development partners on protecting the environment and guides them towards a sustainable use of natural resources.