How to Provoke Useful Action (More Than Just Thought) on Turning the Increasingly Brown-World Green?

Guest Post by Aarya Nijat, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Afghanistan

The context is disappointing: growing countries with unsustainable consumption levels leaving environmental footprints. While human wellbeing lies at the heart of the green economy’s conceptualization, we continue to treat growth in isolation from green; growth and green can go hand in hand. Thus a limitation is our lack of capacity to integrate growth and green at the policy level.

The second limitation is the global nature of this problem. The cause of green economy is not a national or even regional issue. It is an international issue. And given this characteristic, this conference could have also looked at ways of contributing to the existing global initiatives as a region, in addition to local initiatives.

Talking of green cities, as an important local initiative given increasing urbanization reminded me one of the key indicators missing in the Afghan context: lack of access to public transport. Kabul now is one of the most polluted cities of the world, thanks to failure of public transport facilities.

Women made the majority of participants in this session. Could there be a connection between women’s capacity to give birth to life and their interest in contributing to a green rather than brown world?

But the question remains: how to generate and facilitate conversations that provoke useful action and not just more thought (which has been around since 1989)?

I must note though that the 6th SEAS certified as carbon neutral is one good example at the operational level, but a very small step in the face of the –yet to be realized- urgency of this issue. Practical commitment remains to be challenging; a businesswoman from Bangladesh –rightly- questioned the commitment of the participants and organizers of this summit based on the excessive use of air conditioning as well as electricity, despite the opportunity of natural light!

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