Comments due by 9/16/2016
Sustainable development has been the overarching goal of the international community since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Amongst numerous commitments, the Conference called upon governments to develop national strategies for sustainable development, incorporating policy measures outlined in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21. Despite the efforts of many governments around the world to implement such strategies as well as international cooperation to support national governments, there are continuing concerns over global economic and environmental developments in many countries. These have been intensified by recent prolonged global energy, food and financial crises, and underscored by continued warnings from global scientists that society is in danger of transgressing a number of planetary boundaries or ecological limits.
Despite the growing international interest in green economy, negotiations between Member States on the concept in the lead up to Rio+20 were challenging. This was partly due to the lack of an internationally agreed definition or universal principles for green economy, the emergence of interrelated but different terminology and concepts over recent years (such as green growth, low carbon development, sustainable economy, steady-state economy etc.), a lack of clarity around what green economy policy measures encompass and how they integrate with national priorities and objectives relating to economic growth and poverty eradication, as well as a perceived lack of experience in designing, implementing and reviewing the costs and benefits of green economy policies.