February 22, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Green Economy, Green Jobs and youth engagement

The Nepal Weekly
August 1, 2023

After conceptualizing in 1989 in UK by a group of leading environmental economists, entitled Blueprint for a Green Economy. In October 2008, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched its Green Economy Initiative to provide analysis and policy support for investment in green sectors and for greening environmentally unfriendly sectors.In June 2009, in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the UN released an interagency statement supporting the green economy as a transformation to address multiple crises .In February 2010, Ministers and Heads of Delegation of the UNEP Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nusa Dua acknowledged in their declaration that the green economy concept “can significantly address current challenges and deliver economic development opportunities and multiple benefits for all nations.” In March 2010, the General Assembly agreed that green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication would form one of the two specific themes for Rio+20 (resolution 64/236).

So as, a Green Economy is defined as low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. In a green economy, growth in employment and income are driven by public and private investment into such economic activities, infrastructure and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

These green investments need to be enabled and supported through targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and changes in taxation and regulation. UN Environment promotes a development path that understands natural capital as a critical economic asset and a source of public benefits, especially for poor people whose livelihoods depend on natural resources. The notion of green economy does not replace sustainable development, but creates a new focus on the economy, investment, capital and infrastructure, employment and skills and positive social and environmental outcomes across Asia and the Pacific.

The role of Green Economy, Sustainable Consumption and Production and Resource Efficiency for Sustainable Development: Sustainable Consumption and Production aims to improve production processes and consumption practices to reduce resource consumption, waste generation and emissions across the full life cycle of processes and products – while Resource Efficiency refers to the ways in which resources are used to deliver value to society and aims to reduce the amount of resources needed, and emissions and waste generated, per unit of product or service. The Green Economy provides a macro-economic approach to sustainable economic growth with a central focus on investments, employment and skills.

The three main areas for the current work on Green Economy are

(1) Advocacy of macro-economic approach to sustainable economic growth through regional, sub-regional and national fora.

(2) Demonstration of Green Economy approaches with a central focus on access to green finance, technology and investments

(3) Support to countries in terms of development and mainstreaming of macro-economic policies to support the transition to a Green Economy

Nepal has been lagged behind in development issues. Economic growth is crawling at very slow speed. So that the country needs to achieve improvements in vital aspects.

The state mechanism and private sector both consider that hydropower development and exporting electricity to neighbouring countries as a prime instrument to strengthen economy. Moreover, the Government has taken measures for electricity consumption in industries, transportation and domestic uses to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and to reduce cost of fossil fuels import. Renewable energy for agriculture is also one of the important scopes.

More importantly, the renewable energy development and uses in the country is a need considering it as a contributing factor in terms of climate change effects through reducing emissions. Similarly, such energy systems help better human health and healthy nature.

As said above, investment in the renewable energy is growing for the development of hydropower in Nepal. Investment to generate electricity from Solar PV technology is also growing but at a nominal extent in comparison to hydropower. However, electricity generating from Solar PV technology has been taken for ‘energy mix for energy security’.

Keeping in view extensive potential, Green investment is needed to Nepal to develop renewable energy technologies to achieve economic progress. The investment in such clean industries create extensive jobs.

When energy becomes available with uninterrupted and quality supply, more industries will be opened. Likewise, medium, small and cottage industries will open up. Similarly, renewable energy will support agriculture activities in irrigation, agro-processing and value adding entrepreneurship, then more people will be engaged in agro-based industries as well. Electric transportation with priority to recharge batteries in the night time will also extensively develop. 

Massive scale of growth is possible by supporting technically and financially to entrepreneurs who invest in large, medium size biogas plants, bio briquette and pellet industries, Solar Rooftop Grid Connected Systems, Solar PV pumping for Irrigation and drinking water, electric solar hybrid pumping for Irrigation and drinking water and electric vehicles for public transportation.

The scale of Government support in terms of formulating favourable policies and directives to commercial banks to prioritise will result the better size of green jobs to be created. Thus, Green Energy can be turned an influential instrument to create entrepreneurship and jobs for youth. This movement can help youth to work in home country rather than look for opportunities abroad. Moreover, Nepal can reduce its carbon footprint and the harmful consequences of climate change by implementing policies and initiatives that assist the transition to a green economy while also building a sustainable economic future for its population.

So as, the Government has to formulate investment friendly plans to develop Green Energy recognising Solar PV, Micro Hydro, Biogas, Biomass and Wind technologies as parts of Green Energy Technologies. The equally important aspect is to conduct capacity building activities to youth entrepreneurs to engage in renewable energy industries – micro, small, medium or large size. This will help reduce youth going abroad for jobs.