February 21, 2011 / 11:27 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Two pct of world GDP is key to green economy: U.N.

(Reuters) - Investing 2 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 10 sectors including agriculture and energy could shift the world economy to a greener future, the U.N. Environment Program said on Monday.

Two percent of world GDP works out at about $1.3 trillion, it said in a blueprint for a less polluting world economy. Governments now spend between 1 percent and 2 percent on subsidies for fossil fuels or fisheries that are often harmful, it said.

It proposed the following annual investments:

— AGRICULTURE - $108 billion to help feed a world population set to rise to 9 billion in 2050 from almost 7 billion now. The focus would be on raising crop yields, better soil and water use.

— BUILDINGS - $134 billion. Buildings are the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and better insulation, for instance, can restrict energy use.

— ENERGY - $362 billion to help energy efficiency and to shift from fossil fuels, blamed for contributing to climate change, toward greener sources such as wind or solar power. The report did not focus on nuclear power.

— FISHERIES - $108 billion to reduce world fishing by 50 percent by decommissioning vessels, cutting jobs and better management. Subsidies, mostly harmful, now total about $27 billion a year. Initial job losses could be limited by focusing on big fishing firms over artisanal fleets.

— FORESTRY - $15 billion to curb deforestation by 50 percent by 2030 and to increase plantings. Plants soak up greenhouse gases but deforestation — mainly to clear land for farms or towns — accounts for close to 20 percent of mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions.

— INDUSTRY - $76 billion. Greater efficiency would cut waste — recycling aluminum needs only 5 percent of the energy needed for primary production of the metal.

— TOURISM - $134 billion on greening tourism, a major source of waste, damage to the environment and greenhouse gases. Eco-tourism is already growing six times faster than the overall tourism industry.

— TRANSPORT - $194 billion, with a shift toward public transport and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Studies show air pollution, accidents and congestion cost a country about 10 percent of its GDP.

— WASTE - $108 billion to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by at least 70 percent by 2030. Only about 25 percent of all waste is now recycled. Extending the life of products by 10 percent would cut the amount of resources mined, for instance.

— WATER - $108 billion on clean water, including sanitation. Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation are among the main causes of death and illness.

- TOTAL $1.35 trillion.

For Reuters latest environment blogs, click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/

Editing by Andrew Dobbie

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