A new poll conducted by The Regeneration Project in partnership with UNEP has indicated that a green economy would have a more positive impact on major economic, social and environmental problems than the current economy.
The poll surveyed 17,000 consumers across 17 countries and 1,600 sustainable development experts from business, civil society, government and academia.
Consumers worldwide said that a green economy would be more effective than the traditional economy in improving nearly every challenge tested.
According to the report, ratings are especially high for protecting the environment (70%), creating a better future for our children (68%), improving quality of life (61%) and addressing climate change (61%).
By a smaller margin, consumers also believe that a green economy would be more effective than current economic models in creating high paying jobs (32%) and increasing short-term economic growth (31%). The only area where consumers are more doubtful of the effectiveness of a green economy is when it comes to generating low-paying jobs, on which opinions are split.
"It is clear that a transformation towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, job-generating green economy is happening in many countries across the globe and this survey underlines public support for its aims and aspirations," UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said.
"The challenge for world leaders, cities, companies and civil society is to back the smart policies and creative investment flows that will accelerate this positive change."
Other survey highlights include:
- Seventeen percent of consumers across 17 countries say they understand "exactly what the green economy means" and a further 53% are "fairly sure" they do.
- Consumers in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are most optimistic that a green economy would improve quality of life. Those in Japan are least likely to think so.
- Chinese, Hungarian and Mexican consumers would expect to see long-term economic growth as an outcome of a green economy more than those in all other countries surveyed. Western Europeans are least likely to agree.