The global green trend is becoming more visible, both at the level of the international agenda and business initiatives. In Ukraine, a number of international agreements have also been implemented and work is underway to approximate European legislation. At the same time, there are conflicting interpretations of the "green course" in public discourse, in particular, some opinion leaders regard environmental obligations as "... a way to impose their game on the West and destroy Ukrainian industry." What is sustainable development and a green economy? This question was answered on the air of UKRLIFETV by the director of the Institute of Green Economy, Doctor of Economics Vyacheslav Potapenko.
“The change in technology makes it possible to create a resource, which in turn can be used for economic growth,” emphasized Potapenko. In the history of mankind, there have been many cases when, at first, a conventionally unnecessary substance acquired the maximum commercial value and launched a round of economic transformations (for example, oil).
The rational use of resources and the possibilities of a particular territory became the subject of research at the beginning of the last century. “For the first time attempts to study it were the sides of Vladimir Vernadsky, whom we usually know as the author of the concept of the noosphere and the creator of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences,” the expert noted. Vernadsky managed to organize a council for the study of productive forces, the developments of which, after the 30s of the twentieth century, were distributed among the union republics.
In the second half of the twentieth century, ideas of sustainable development emerged among intellectuals and philosophers, supported by mathematical calculations and modeling situations, taking into account the limited resources and anthropogenic pressure on the environment.
The crisis in the economy and the collapse in the stock exchanges in 2008 showed that the economic system is vulnerable and new approaches are needed. In parallel, United Nations experts have been actively working on new sustainable models for the development of societies. Ban Ki-moon's election to the post of UN Secretary-General was a favorable factor. According to Vyacheslav Potapenko, Ban Ki-moon in many ways transferred the positive experience of South Korea in the rational use of natural resources. "South Korea already in the 2000s set an example of how to achieve economic growth in the absence or limited availability of natural resources."
In response to the global economic crisis, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) proposed the concept of a green economy as a mechanism for the transition to the principles of sustainable development for all countries, without gradation into rich and poor.
“In 2010, I came across a fresh article by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, dedicated to the mechanisms for arranging a green economy, in particular, even then a carbon regulation mechanism was proposed. But the ideas of theorists take a long time to reach government committees, ”the expert summed up. The current situation with the carbon tax creates certain difficulties for Ukraine, if we remain within the paradigm of the last century. “We think of Ukraine in the categories of the 90s, and we have not been like that for a long time,” says Vyacheslav Potapenko and reinforces his position with quantitative indicators. Now about 1.5 million people work in the industrial sector, according to the scientist, this is not much, and given the depreciation of all funds, Ukraine needs to use new technologies for development, and not in order to mothball a sector that creates increased environmental risks and costs in other areas.
Proper management of water resources, the development of organic agriculture, the transformation of the energy sector, as well as the synchronization of education and new challenges are areas that require increased attention from society and authorities.