A green economy approach to growth could benefit South Africa:UNEP

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KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa (UNEP@Photo)

Investing in a low-carbon, resource efficient green economy is fundamental for South Africa's sustained economic growth and well-being.

These are the findings of a new study, South African Green Economy Modelling, which says that improving the management of natural resources and investing in the environment could increase South Africa's crop yields by almost a quarter, create 170,000 additional jobs and significantly increase the availability of water, compared to current practices.

The study, commissioned by UNEP, the UN Environment Programme, also says that additional investment may be needed to meet the country's growth target of a four to seven per cent rise in GDP, gross domestic product, per year between now and 2020.

The study also says the green economy approach could be good for employment.

It points out that if investment in the energy sector is prioritized, it could create the most jobs. But if green investments are spread equally across all sectors, then the agriculture sector has the most potential for employment creation.

"This study demonstrates that a green economy approach, which takes into account the country's economic, social and environmental aspirations, can deliver as much growth as a business-as-usual model but in a more sustainable manner," said South Africa's Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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November 2017
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