ELI President Attends “The Future of the Green Economy” in Rome, Italy

April 2019

(Washington, D.C.): The green economy is now a $4 trillion market—roughly the same market share as the fossil fuel sector. Given the impact of this new economy, the Canadian Chamber in Italy hosted “The Future of the Green Economy” in Rome, Italy, on April 17. Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute, attended the event at the invitation of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Embassy in Rome. Participants in the event included Canadian and Italian business leaders, officials from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), researchers, academicians, investors, students, and government officials.

Roughly half of the green economy, which includes renewable and alternative energy, energy efficiency, water, waste and pollution services, is represented by the energy sector, followed by the food and agriculture, water, and transport sectors.

Reflecting on the symposium, Scott Fulton stated, “Here again, we see sensing technology, technology accelerators like AI, and new information sharing platforms promising to serve as key catalysts in the march toward greater water, food, and energy security, which we all hope with be among the dividends of a greener economy.”

The water/food/energy nexus was a dominant point of discussion at the symposium. This is not surprising, as water is a major input not only to energy development and production, but also in the provision of food – from production through the value chain.  According to FAO Deputy Director, Sasha Koo-Oshima, “The world needs to produce an estimated 60% more food by 2050 to ensure global food security. This of course requires water resources that are up to the task.” 

“Optimizing the green economy requires recognition of the interdependence of the water, energy, and agriculture sectors, as well as a higher degree of integration between the UN-Water organizations, governments, businesses, and other stakeholders,” observed Ms. Koo-Oshima. “This symposium is positive step in that direction.”