Favourable conditions for a green economy

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO advocates a Green Economy, which ensures sustainable economic growth and prosperity, also for future generations, through environmentally friendly economic procedures. Negative consequences on the environment and ecosystems, which could backlash on economic achievements, shall be prevented.

The population increase and rapid industrialisation in the emerging economies causes growing concern that the insidious destruction of the environment will endanger food production; the global need for raw materials will exhaust the carbon reserves; and the unhindered CO2 emission may lead to irreversible damage.

SECO proposes three guidelines for the implementation of a Green Economy:

  • preservation of the natural resources and the sustainable use of resources which protect biodiversity, soil fertility, forests and fish, and maintains nature as storage room for CO2.
  • recycling raw material waste and creating secondary material cycles that contribute considerably towards diversification and thus towards an improved provision security.
  • substituting fossil energy carriers with renewable energy that, contrary to finite energy resources, generally dis- play an extremely good CO2 balance.

The state’s role is to correct market failure with cost efficient instruments through:

  • creating economic incentives based on polluter pays and cost truth principles (e.g. taxes or emission trade systems);
  • promoting background research in the field of resource efficiency and in all disciplines, without favouring certain technologies;
  • removal of existing information asymmetries through market trans- parency (e.g. labelling), and through meaningful individual indicators as those currently being development within the OECD.

The instruments should be shaped such to avoid market distortion. The Green Economy should, especially in the current economic situation, not hinder economic growth but rather contribute towards sustainable and environment-friendly growth.

To the factsheets:

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO Economic Cooperation and Development Holzikofenweg 36, CH – 3003 Bern, Tel. + 41 31 324 09 10, E-mail info@seco.admin.ch, Internet http://www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch