World Economic and Social Survey 2011

The Great Green Technological Transformation

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This survey explains why the Great Green Technological Transformation will have to be fully realized in developing countries if they are to achieve food security and rural development, minimize the damage from natural hazards and extreme disasters partly induced by climate change, and transform their economies to beat destitution and create productive jobs. Avoiding the climate change tipping point will require fundamental shifts in existing technologies to transform manufacturing, agriculture, living arrangements and infrastructure and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make more efficient use of natural resources and derivatives, create less waste, preserve biodiversity and reduce social disparities. The survey assesses options and policies to facilitate a new technological revolution, and the challenges societies face in achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction.



Reducing human harm from natural hazards

In the 1970s, about 69 natural disasters were recorded worldwide every year. By the 2000s, this average had increased to 350 per year. Changes in the natural environment, owing in part to global warming, have elevated disaster risk and in consequence adaptation to those changes is testing human ingenuity. Developing countries tend to bear a disproportionate share of the adverse consequences of increased disaster risk since multiple vulnerabilities associated with lower levels of development and inadequate resources hinder them from more rapidly building up resilient infrastructure and knowledge capacities for risk reduction.


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