Nobel Prize Laureate: "It is possible to create the economy of the future by 2030!"
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee Rae Kwon Chung is sure: The world needs a radical change. The market economy and democracy as a political system have become outdated, the ecology will be the new growth driver.
Dr. Chung arrived to Moscow on an unofficial visit. He delivered a lecture at the HSE and participated in the foresight session devoted to future scenarios. Recall that recently Dr. Chung has become one of the headliners of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, he has also been a Principal Advisor on Climate Change for the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon for a long period of time. Now Dr. Chung is a Director for the Environment and Development division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP or ESCAP), as well as he has joined the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee in June 2016.
"The revision of the economy model in order to support sustainable development" was the topic of the speech of this famous scientist and diplomat. Rae Kwon Chung is the author and one of the most prominent supporters of "green growth". This strategy significantly enriches and deepens the "sustainable development strategy" (officially presented in 1992) which is based on principle of economic growth while preserving the ecological balance for future generations. "We need a new level of perception of the world. Our planet is of the greatest importance. Society and economy coexist within it. Therefore, it is necessary to do the so-called "green investments", to invest in natural capital rather than exploit the resources. Only this way we can transform the current economic situation and move from exploitation to investment. One of the definite tools, in my opinion, could be the widespread introduction of a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide. There is a view that this will ruin the economy, will bury the labor market. But take Sweden for example, where an introduction of a tax on CO2 emissions has led to the reduction of emissions and economic growth," - the scientist noticed in his speech.
The main obstacle to the creation of an efficient green economy, according to Dr. Chung, is the focus on short-term priorities: "mankind seeks to maximize short-term GDP, exploiting for this purpose both human and natural capital. Exploitation means that we do not pay the full price. There is a constant understatement of salaries in many countries in order to minimize production costs, and natural resources are constantly undervalued. We work in this paradigm, we pay minimum wages and thus worsen social conditions. Capitalism in general is based on short-term gains, people vote for politicians who promote fast results. When we get out of this vicious circle, life on the planet will change for the better. The same applies to social conditions." However, with proper actions of state institutions (and according to the scientist, transition to "green growth" could only be dictated by the government or society, not the market), the new economic reality is possible in the next 15 years by 2030.
By the way, Russia's role in this process, in Rae Kwon Chung`s opinion, will be extremely positive: "You can become a center for green technology, the same military technology could be used for environmental management, but Russia will need to ensure the transparency of society and business."