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During the last few decades, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region enjoyed rapid economic development. Millions have been lifted out of poverty. But this growth had a heavy environmental and social cost. For instance, every year air pollution kills 5 million people.

Achim Steiner, United Nations Environmental Programme Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, talks to SciDev.Net in this podcast about how green economy and even the financial system can provide the basis for sustainable development, and boost green technologies.

This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's South-East Asia & Pacific desk.