For the first time, the concept and ways of “transition to green economy” were clearly articulated in 2011 in the analytical report of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) “Towards a green economy, a path to sustainable development and poverty eradication.” The document gave a scientific substantiation of the need to change the paradigm of world development towards the ecologization of the basic spheres of human life, and specific recommendations on the directions of such transition were given. The green economy theory is based on the understanding that it is impossible infinitely satisfy ever-increasing needs in conditions of limited resources and space on the 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 taking into account environmental damage.
Now the whole economy is built on the consumer model, which is based on the fact that a person always changes tastes, interests and constantly buys something. On the one hand, there are a lot of things and sometimes even useful ones we can buy, on the other hand, it leads to 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, if you compare the quality of metal, interior trim, service life 50 years ago and now, you will be very surprised. Previously, anyone could not even come to mind changing cars every 3 years, as a result we have huge problems with the recycling of old cars. While, the existing economic model seems allow to live for all of us and is not the worst of the existing ones, but 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 problems that are insoluble for future generations. The transition to a “green economy” is the introduction of a number of limitations in this model, taking into account the destruction of the environment, which is equated with the loss of national wealth. Investigating the program documents of the “green economy” it is necessary to note that such concept is a fundamentally new stage in the development of socioeconomic 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 true direction of development. Transition to the “green economy” implies observance of the principles of justice, equality between countries, the population, principles of sustainable development, efficiency and communication of generations. Particular attention in the transition to the green economy is given to the formation of modern infrastructure, which is key to ensuring sustainable development and modernization.
Experts identify three main channels through which the formation of 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 is able to 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 as 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 a number of system-forming sectors, including energy, construction, transports, etc. All these results 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 the development of alternative energy as the main directions of economic 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 it is expected to be implemented before 2020. If this reform is successfully implemented, Sweden will be the first country in the world, which abandon hydrocarbon raw materials . In Europe, much attention is also paid to waste recycling: waste management and recycling programs. Work is under way 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 is observed all over the world, 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 a number of 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 fulfil 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 is able to provide substantial GDP growth, employment growth, per capita income, 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.