Green Growth Discussed by World Bank Lead Environmental Economist

April 21, 2015

On April 21, the GFDD Global Roundtables hosted Dr. Muthukumara Mani, Lead Environmental Economist at the World Bank and author of the publication Greening India’s Growth: Costs, Valuations and Trade-offs. The session discussed Dr. Mani’s career background as an environmental economist and the role that environmental resources play in economic growth, otherwise known as Green Growth.  The discussion further elaborated on the best
practices that could be transposed from Dr. Mani’s analysis of the Indian economy to help promote the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic.

Opening the session, GFDD Executive Director. Natasha Despotovic introduced Dr.Mani as one of the first environmental economists in
India, before discussing with him the apparent conflicts between aspirations of economic growth without consideration for surrounding resources. Dr. Mani explained that a predominance of poor communities in developing countries depend on environmental resources, as a result he stressed that this growth model was simply not replicable. Instead he referred to the importance of replicating green growth, or economic growth that does not damage the natural capital of a particular

Next, Dr Mani recalled the three key principles of Green Growth which are that it is necessary, measurable and affordable. Illustrating this point, he focused on the rapid industrialization of India and explained that there seemed to be a dichotomy in the country between the reports that it was a top economic performer while registering one of the poorest environmental performances in global environmental indices. Seeking to convince policy makers to put a value
on green growth, he stressed that his publication had quantified India’s environmental losses as representing 5.7% of India’s GDP.

At the national and international level he explained that the role of environmental economists such as him was to establish the balance between economic growth and the protection of the environment. Pointing to rising account of public health issues engendered by the development of carbon intensive energy sources, Dr. Mani
explained that the decision to ignore the environment would always remain counterproductive.

About Dr.
Muthukumara Mani, Lead Environmental Economist at the World Bank

Dr. Mani is a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s South Asia Region. He primarily works on green growth and climate change mitigation and adaptation issues in the region.  Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr. Mani worked for the International Monetary Fund, where he was responsible for analyzing the environmental implications of macroeconomic policies. Dr.Mani has a doctorate and masters in
economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

About the Global Roundtable
In close association with the United Nations, the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, GFDD organizes regular meetings with UN Ambassadors and other prominent figures in the international community in an effort to spread the news, knowledge and understanding of other countries, global issues and work of different United Nations bodies to its audience
in the Dominican Republic, the US and around the world.

The regular series, GFDD Global Roundtable is also a part of GFDD’s program to support the work of the United Nations and, as a non-governmental institution affiliated to it, contribute to the visibility and understanding of its work.

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