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Interview: Green economy proves to be critical means to eradicate poverty: UN official
July 24,2017   By:Xinhua

July 24, 2017 -- Green economy which requires economic development without sacrificing the environment proves to be a critical means to eradicate poverty worldwide, said UN Environment Program Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw.

"The environment is one of the major contributors to poverty eradication because the poorest people in the world have assets related to the environment, such as soil, water, fisheries, and forests," Thiaw told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"We are convinced that poverty eradication may be achieved best when the environment is well protected," he said.

An annual high-level forum on sustainable development concluded earlier this week at the UN headquarters with an outcome document which calls for the expeditious implementation of a set of global goals to lift millions out of poverty and also conserve the environment as well as achieving social equality.

The document acknowledges that 1.6 billion people still live in "multidimensional poverty," though extreme poverty has fallen globally; and climate change, as well as land degradation, are posing threats to small-scale food producers, thus leading to possible hunger and poverty.

Thiaw said the green economy is an idea that can offer a viable solution in the long run; it requires economic growth which can create jobs continuously and meanwhile protect the ecosystems which can reduce harms and risks to the most vulnerable people around the world.

Noting that green financing is a critical part of the idea, Thiaw said that it involves investments in projects that are climate compatible or resistant to climate shocks which are believed to be beneficial to both businesses as well as the environment.

Earlier this month, the UN Environment Program has launched a partnership with 11 of the world's leading banks, representing over 7 trillion U.S. dollars, to develop analytical tools and indicators to strengthen assessment of climate-related risks as well as opportunities.