This report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) calls for international action to combat the global economic crisis with a stimulus package based on clean energy and environmental protection. The author — Edward B Barbier from the University of Wyoming — argues that while stimulating growth and creating jobs are key objectives, unless new policy initiatives also reduce carbon dependency, protect ecosystems and water resources, and alleviate poverty they will not be enough to avert future crises.

Developed countries must remove subsidies and adopt complementary carbon pricing policies, says Barbier. Developing countries should spend at least one per cent of GDP on improving access to clean water and should also expand educational and health services for the poor. And all economies should consider removing water subsidies to increase water efficiency, he adds.

He concludes that the international community has a central role to play in promoting this global green new deal — through global governance, facilitating access to development assistance and enhancing trade incentives.