United Nations, Sep 19 (BNO NEWS): The United Nations (UN) on Monday called on Asian and Pacific countries to further develop its economy with an environmental-friendly industry.
According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), countries in Asia and the Pacific account for more than half of the world's total resource use, which the UNEP says is due largely to the fact that it has over half the world's population and nearly 30 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
The UNEP released its report - "Resource Efficiency-Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific" - on Monday in Beijing, where the program estimated that resource consumption per capita in the region, including of construction materials and fuels, needs to be around 80 percent less than today if sustainable development is to be achieved.
Pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, deteriorating ecosystems and rapid resource depletion is seen at high rates in the region due to its growth, according to the report.
"What is required is a new industrial revolution that provides food, housing, mobility, energy and water with only about 20 percent of the per-capita resource use and emissions found in current systems," the report states.
The so-called 'green' industrial revolution takes advantage of improvements in resource efficiency, which the UN has considered vital in order for industries to prosper in the 21st century.
Total materials consumed in 2005 alone – including biomass, fossil fuels, metals and industrial and construction materials – amounted to around 32 billion tons, the report said, adding that the figure could rise to 80 billion tons by 2050 if a different course of action is not taken.
While more than 500 million people have been taken out of poverty, as economic growth continues in the Asia and Pacific region, 'profound' consequences have taken place in the social and environmental sectors, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner noted.
"This new report spotlights the challenges but also the opportunities for a transition to a low carbon, far more resource efficient green economy not as an alternative to sustainable development but as a means of implementing it," said Steiner.
The report calls for a region-wide effort on improved efficiency backed up by smart public policy measures, including fiscal policies such as ecological taxes and budget reforms.