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Investment in the green economy continues to grow.

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Frontline Online: The green transition scoreboard

The Ecologist's Lorna Howarth reports on news and action from the environmental frontline....

Over $4trillion dollars in green investment proves that businesses are moving away from the fossil-fuel based economy.

Hazel Henderson, futurist and long-time contributor to Resurgence and The Ecologist has always been interested in future-proofing market trends and making them more ethical and accountable. In order to track how green investment is doing in real terms, her organization Ethical Market Media (EMM) has devised the Green Transition Scoreboard, and results announced today are encouraging.

From 2007 to 2012 there were some massive investments worldwide: in renewable energy ($2,281,347,792,080 – a number so big it’s almost unintelligible!); green construction ($837,620,000,000); Cleantech ($224,601,088,873) and most importantly, energy efficiency ($526,921,247,320).

Henderson believes that many private investors are now following EMM’s recommended goal to shift to green sectors. People are realizing that “environmental, social and human capital must be assessed and integrated into financial markets in order to achieve equitable and sustainable forms of development, resulting in new global shared goals and paths towards low-carbon, cleaner, greener and information-richer economies,” said Henderson.

The Green Transition Scoreboard (GTS) omits investment in nuclear, clean coal, carbon capture and sequestration and biofuels from feedstocks other than sea-grown algae, as their ‘green’ credentials are contentious, but it is looking closely at nanotechnology, genetic engineering, 3D printing and artificial life-forms to determine their green contribution on a case-by-case basis.

In 2012 there was a growing awareness that localization in all sectors, is a key principle for redesigning industrial systems so they become more sustainable. EMM believe that green technologies and systems investments are the next evolution of human societies as we learn from earth systems sciences how better to manage our economies. 

The robust framework provided by the GTS means that we can now accurately measure the evolving revolution in ethical investments for a green economy. “2013 promises to take long strides away form the fossil-fuelled industrial era,” says Henderson. “With over $4trillion committed to the green economy since 2007, technology and innovation – such as in electricity generation and transport – has begun to force structural changes and rethinking of business models, urban design and development towards  new, integrated systemic approach.”

Exciting stuff!

Lorna Howarth is a writer and environmentalist. She is a contributing editor to Resurgence & Ecologist magazine and the founder of a small independent publishing agency:

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