Pursuing a green economy: growth alongside environmental sustainability in Latin America

Pursuing a green economy: growth alongside environmental sustainability in Latin America

Latin American countries have been implementing some innovative market incentives to catalyse the expansion of the green economy, in particular in relation to natural resource conservation and development of greener energy and infrastructure. This Guide explores these experiences to identify useful lessons for other regions of the world.

Developing and emerging countries around the world are seeking new strategies to decouple environmental degradation from economic growth. In Latin America, numerous countries have operationalised green economy principles in public policy with the aim of improving forest conservation, preserving watershed services, and promoting green building development and renewable energy uptake. The Guide describes the general principles of the green economy and how it can be implemented through careful management of natural resources, with a particular focus on the type of financial incentives used, including how and where they work. Drawing on case studies from across the region, the Guide also explores the principle factors behind the success of initiatives in Latin America in order to provide lessons that will be useful to other regions.

Key lessons:

  • new governance frameworks and financing arrangements are necessary to stimulate, manage, and regulate the flow of resources and finance in ecosystem conservation mechanisms
  • the development of market instruments (such as PES) has contributed to the spread of ecosystem approaches while feed-in tariffs and preferential premiums have facilitated new partnerships in the development of longer-term renewable energy sources
  • a business-friendly environment can establish the operating ground for longer term investments needed in infrastructural transitions, particularly in renewable energy and green building initiatives


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