A technological revolution will have to be completed in the next 30 to 40 years in order to overcome poverty and avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, this was the message of Manuel "Butch" Montes during the Philippine launching of the World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation on August 1, 2011 at the National College of Public Administration, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
Organized by Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and Action for Economic Reforms (AER), the book launching provided Mr. Montes the opportunity to present the key messages of the report .
Mr. Montes pointed out that over the past two centuries, exponential population growth and enormous improvements in human welfare have come at the lasting cost of degradation of our natural environment. He said business as usual is not an option and that there is an urgent need to find new development pathways to end poverty and avert the catastrophic impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.
Addressing the more than a hundred individuals who attended the book launching, Mr. Montes stressed that a major technological overhaul as far-reaching as that of the first industrial revolution is the only way to promote economic progress that can lift millions out of poverty while ensuring environmental limits are not exceeded.
He said many of the technologies needed for a green economy are already available. The main challenge is how to further improve and adapt these technologies to local needs, so they can be diffused widely.
He explained that because the old, dirty technologies are still cheaper in most instances than green technologies, governments will have to play a leading role in making the transition. He said innovation policies for sustainable development should be an integral part of national development strategies.
He added that besides reshaping national development efforts, a sustained increase and reform in international cooperation and finance is also needed.