About Green Economy

Humans often think that economic prosperity is the top priority in life. This can be seen from previous economic models, which often focus on Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With the advancement of technology, economic activities are increasing and becoming more diverse. However, these activities often clash with environmental interests. Industries require significant energy and raw materials to produce their goods. This energy and raw materials are often extracted from nature. If economic growth is not accompanied by awareness and actions to preserve the environment, eventually nature will be damaged, and disasters will occur.

The green economy model emerged to address this issue. The green economy recognizes that human welfare and social equality are important, but the environment is equally important. With this principle, economic actors are obliged to carry out economic activities that consider carbon emissions, conserve natural resources, and support social justice.

The implementation of the green economy in all economic activities of society will realize sustainable development. Sustainable development means development carried out in such a way that it does not deplete the Earth’s natural resources.

The green economy began to be seriously adopted by the United Nations through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2011. Since then, various countries have begun to implement the green economy. For example, South Korea has stipulated that 2% of its national budget will be used for investment in environmental areas such as renewable energy development and environmentally friendly technology. Mexico is building and promoting Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to popularize the use of public transportation among the public.

Indonesia itself has set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 29% from BAU until 2030. To achieve this target, all government agencies must have the same understanding of the importance of the green economy and apply it to their scope of work.

In addition to considering environmental conservation important, the green economy also considers social equality important. The economy so far, besides often neglecting environmental aspects, also often ignores social aspects. As a result, almost half of the world’s population experiences poverty because they lack capital resources, education, and adequate manpower. Access to decent employment is often closed to them because of this issue.

In the green economy, economic activities that must be carried out are economic activities that are not only environmentally friendly but also support social welfare. For example, the government can invest in a field that not only does not harm the environment but also can absorb a large workforce.

There are still many challenges faced by Indonesia and other countries in fully implementing the green economy. The most urgent challenge to address is increasing public awareness of the importance of the green economy. The green economy is not only the government’s obligation. Private sector and society, which are also economic actors, play a crucial role in the implementation of the green economy. Even if the government’s awareness is already high, if the public still does not have the same awareness, then the policies made by the government may not be welcomed enthusiastically, or even rejected.

Another challenge that is often discussed is about costs. Many countries, including developed countries like the United States, still question whether they can afford to adopt the green economy financially. Industries may feel burdened if their carbon emissions are taxed, or they may not be able to afford the installation of more environmentally friendly technology or the use of renewable energy that is more expensive than non-renewable energy.

Certainly, if economic actors – government, private sector, and society – have understood the importance of sustainable development, resistance to the green economy due to cost issues will decrease. After all, paying more now to build an economic system that can last forever will be cheaper than spending all natural resource reserves now and paying for it later when they are depleted.