We can scarcely turn on the television without being confronted with yet another ecological disaster. It seems clear, today humankind is failing to cope with the number of global problems that arise before governments of different countries. Global problems affect the interests and destinies of all countries, peoples, social strata and lead to significant economic and social losses, in case of their aggravation they can threaten the very existence of human civilization. It turns out that a modern man can exist only within a narrow range of physical environment characteristics and social spheres. Priority problems of humanity are ecological, demographic, power, raw materials, food, using the world ocean resources, and overcoming the backwardness of developing countries. Preventing man’s natural catastrophic pollution, providing human society with the necessary food and energy resources − all these problems can be solved only by introducing the principles of a green economy on a global scale.
The diversity of organizations and agencies involved in the promotion and development of the green economy is the result of a wide interpretation of the concept of a “green” economy at the planetary level, as well as the fact that it covers a number of industries and priorities. Despite this, no country has an integrated program specifically dedicated to the transition to a “green” economy. While many countries are developing comprehensive strategies for “greening” the economy or preparing analytical calculations for individual sectors or topics. Despite some successful implementation of alternative technologies and programs to introduce non-waste production, the development of legislation that provides environmental protection, humanity has not yet left the area of environmental crisis.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the main environmental problem lies not in the ozone layer of the Earth, but in the values of society and individual leaders. The principles of humanism must be coordinated not only with a man but also with nature. Ecological humanism, in contrast to ordinary humanism, sees in nature an indispensable condition for the existence of man. Therefore, a person must treat nature carefully, as to himself. “Green” settlements that promote the healthy development of man through the restoration of his connection with nature balance not only the relationship between man and nature but also between people.
Today it is clear to everyone, that widespread urbanization, which is perceived as an indicator of the living standard growth, leads to a reduction in the birth rate. Irrespective of religion and climatic conditions, city life leads to a decrease in the demographic indicators of the nation, which is reflected in its ecological and social health. The modern “stone jungle” almost completely pulls people out of the natural biosphere and adversely affects the biological growth of the population. Reduced immunity of the current generation, low-quality food, polluted water and air, electric fields, noise in megacities are multiplied by increased crime and potentially technogenic catastrophes. The solution to all these problems leads to the creation of smart cities, where transport, energy, food are solved based on “green” technologies.
Today, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 1.2 billion people are hungry and undernourished in the world. The ways of solving the food problem are based on the impossibility of further expansion of arable land, pasture, and commercial land. There remains an intensive way – this is an increase in the production of agricultural products due to the development of new technologies, the removal of high-yielding, disease-resistant plant varieties, and animal breeds.
Modern humanity, which has found itself in an ecological crisis, cannot yet find a reliable way out of it. Despite some successful implementation of alternative technologies and programs to introduce non-waste production, the development of legislation that provides environmental protection, humanity has not yet avoided the opportunity of environmental crisis. As the understanding of the causes of the environmental crisis and climate change is increased, there has been a growing awareness in recent years that we need to make changes to the world economy.
Based on the analysis of a huge number of publications on the introduction of the green economy to date, we can draw a conclusion about the lack of a clearly defined holistic approach to its promotion. Currently, policy documents are usually prepared on the initiative “from below” in order to meet any specific need or solution of a political issue related to a certain aspect of the “green” economy. Specific gaps remain in information and knowledge on a number of green economy aspects, for example, understanding the relationship between ecosystems and economic systems.
Humanity needs a clearly defined strategic plan for a directional transition of economic systems from the traditional to the “green” model. If the task is the integration of environmental priorities into economic development, then all policy initiatives and priorities at the global level should be assessed in terms of compliance with principles of a “green” economy. A clear and coherent system for the exchange of environmental information is needed to create the basis for coordinated actions to identify and fill the gaps in knowledge of green economy laws. The collection and dissemination of concrete examples from practice, both positive and negative, should be considered as an integral part of such an information system.
The governments should take a proactive role in promoting green innovation through a new green industrial strategy to help the countries secure a comparative advantage in key economic sectors.
All this requires leadership and coherence at the highest level. Moreover, here the destiny of humankind depends very much on the human factor. As it is known, the hierarchy of internal values of a person reflects his views on the world structure. A person who understands green values focuses on humanism, tolerance, attention to environmental issues. At the same time, history knows many examples of selfish authoritarian leaders who are preoccupied only with personal survival and adhere to the principle: “After me, the Flood!”.
Unfortunately, not all countries and world leaders share an understanding of green values. That is why President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement caused a lot of regret in Europe, and certain states of the United States said they would continue their efforts to combat climate change and even without the participation of the White House.