It's hard to deny that the green trade is steadily gaining ground as people continue to lowering carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency, eschewing the power grid or just trying to save a little money at the end of the month is driving plenty of people in the direction of green products. So many are headed in the green direction that, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), by the year 2020, the green trade will represent fully $2.2 trillion.
But that isn't the high point of the report. The “Green Economy and Trade-Trends, Challenges and Opportunities” report further points out that that massive total will represent a full tripling over the current numbers. Those poised for the biggest gains in the field are developing countries with large amounts of renewable resources, which will bode well for the sustainable goods and services associated with the green trade.
However, the report goes on to clarify that the green trade is still just a very small percentage of the wider global market. However, green products are making clear advancement, more specifically, the report examined six key sectors for green trade, including renewable energy, manufacturing, and tourism, as well as practices more related to food like fishing, agriculture and forestry. Food is expected to count for substantial gains, from $62.9 billion in 2011 to $105 billion by 2015. Seafood alone, especially that farmed sustainably, is set to go from $300 million in 2008 to $1.25 billion by 2015, a better than four-fold jump.
Backing these impressive gains is a regular program of public investments, with infrastructure and technical assistance just two parts of a larger overall program. Further recommendations looked to bolster the sustainability concept, including removing subsidies that promoted unsustainable production methods and altering pricing policies to reflect environmental and social costs of goods and services. Additionally, the UNEP warned against going after Arctic mineral resources as more of the Arctic was exposed due to increasing sea ice melt.
While, naturally, not everyone will agree with the UN's recommendations and sentiments, the facts remain that the green industry is looking to make substantial gains over the course of just the next few years. Politics aside, many have come to enjoy the savings associated with many green products, and some have even seriously looked at generating power sufficient to not only meet current needs but also resell to the grid, making cottage industries in some locations.
Not everyone is in agreement on just how far humanity needs to go to protect the environment, but it's still quite clear that there's benefit to be had in the green trade; benefits well worth pursuing.
Edited by Ashley Caputo