WESS 2011 Calls for Major Technological Transformation

5 July 2011: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released the World Economic and Social Survey (WESS) 2011. Titled “The Great Green Technological Transformation,” WESS 2011 offers objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and weighs the impacts of policies that address them.

Released on 5 July 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, WESS 2011 calls for a “complete transformation” of the technology on which economic activity is based, in order to meet both poverty-related and environmental goals. This transformation must be completed more quickly than previous major technological transitions, thus requiring governments to take a more active role.

The report finds that green technology investments of US$1.9 trillion per year, over the next 40 years, will be needed to accomplish the transition. Of that annual amount, $1.1 trillion will be needed for developing countries to use green technologies to meet their increasing food and energy demands.

The survey report discusses: why a green technological transformation is needed; policy options and recommendations for transitioning to clean energy; achieving food security; reducing human harm from natural hazards; national policies for green development; and building a global technology development and sharing regime, including reforming multilateral trading rules and international finance to accelerate green technology development and diffusion, and upgrading levels and capabilities of global governance. [Publication: World Economic and Social Survey 2011]