The green economy theory is based on the understanding that it is impossible to infinitely satisfy ever-increasing needs in conditions of limited resources and space on Earth. Constant economic growth is impossible. Only permanent economic development is possible. The concept of a “green economy” is gaining increasing public resonance and supporters around the world. At the same time, the traditional model of the economy aims to maximize profit in the shortest possible time without considering environmental damage.
The whole economy is built on the consumer model, which is based on the fact that a person always changes tastes, and interests and constantly buys something. On the one hand, there are many things and sometimes even useful ones we can buy, on the other hand, it leads to the depletion of resources and quality of the produced goods. Because it is more profitable for the manufacturer to make a phone that will work for two years than four, and the consumer instead of one will buy two mobile phones for the same term. Another good example is a car, and if you compare the quality of metal, interior trim, and service life 50 years ago and now, you will be very surprised. Previously, anyone could not even come to mind changing cars every three years. As a result, we have huge problems with the recycling of old cars. While the existing economic model seems to allow us to live for all of us and is not the worst of the existing ones, on the other hand, everyone understands that it needs to be changed until the planet collapses into two hemispheres.
In general, we have to recognize that the traditional model suggests a dead-end path of development leading to insoluble problems for future generations. The transition to a “green economy” introduces several limitations in this model, taking into account the destruction of the environment, equating with the loss of national wealth. Investigating the “green economy” program documents is necessary to note that such a concept is a fundamentally new stage in developing socio-economic relations. It presupposes a high level of self-organization not only of society as a whole but of every individual as well.
Thus, the transition to a green economy is a highly moral, rational, and the only right direction of development. Transition to the “green economy” implies observance of the principles of justice, equality between countries, and the population, principles of sustainable development, efficiency, and communication of generations. Particular attention in the transition to the green economy is given to modern infrastructure, which is key to ensuring sustainable development and modernization.
Experts identify three main channels through which forming a “green” economy and related structural reforms can serve as engines of economic growth embodied in increasing GDP.
First, the transition to a green economy can increase the input resources of natural capital (input effects). It is about increasing the productivity of natural resources through more efficient management of natural capital, improving the quality of human potential, and reducing economic losses.
Secondly, investment is an important growth factor, investment in the development of the “green” infrastructure, including the water supply and sewerage system, public transport, focused on alternative sources of fuel, etc.,
Thirdly, this transition must be accompanied by structural changes and significant investments in several system-forming sectors, including energy, construction, transport, etc. All these results are expressed in the broadening of the efficiency of the basic branches of the economy (efficiency effect).
Most developed countries have already begun moving towards a “green economy,” while at the present stage, they are using various instruments of the “green economy” in national industrial policies and strategies. The US has chosen alternative energy as the main direction of the economy and plans to produce 60% of the consumed energy by using solar and 35% of the consumed heat by 2030.
Sweden assumes a complete abandonment of hydrocarbon fuel through energy reform, which is expected to be implemented before 2020. If this reform is successfully implemented, Sweden will be the first country globally, which abandon hydrocarbon raw materials. In Europe, much attention is also paid to waste recycling: waste management and recycling programs. Work is underway to test alternative sources of energy from scrap, reduce harmful emissions, and seek new ways to improve the environmental performance of economic activities.
Currently, the growth of investments and the pace of the green economy sector development are observed worldwide, which causes a wide interest of analysts and politicians to public figures of transition to a new economic paradigm. The reports of the UN and several specialized organizations suggest that by 2050, a significant transformation of the world economy, in particular, an annual investment of about 1.3 trillion (about 2% of world GDP), will be fulfilled in 10 key sectors of the green economy up to 2050. It is assumed that the implementation of this scenario will ensure, within 5-10 years, a higher annual growth rate of the economy than is possible in the framework of traditional economics investing, in the absence of negative consequences for the environment. Thus, the “green economy” in the future can provide substantial GDP growth, employment growth, per capita income, and quality and living standards at a higher rate than the traditional economic model. Thus, from the perspective of the evolution of humankind, the transition to a “green” economy is not only advisable but also objectively necessary.