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Government spending could save the world - so what's holding it back?

July 3, 2014

Government spending could save the world - so what's holding it back?

As South Korea and Europe lead the way on sustainable procurement, cost and a lack of unity means many countries are lagging; a new program encourages a shift

Erica Gies
The guardian.com, Wednesday 25 June 2014 15.41 BST


Governments' purchasing decisions can have huge consequences for markets.

During the US Civil War, the Defense Department required clothiers to manufacture uniforms in small, medium, and large sizes, a new innovation in a world that knew only bespoke clothing and one-size-fits-all, and one which changed the way clothes are made and sold.

In the 20th century, US government contracts for energy-efficient appliances and computers led to more efficient machines, marked by the Energy Star label. Now in the 21st century, governments large and small are throwing their buying power behind efforts to transition to lower carbon, resource-efficient, greener economies.

“The state has a power to transform markets,” said Farid Yaker, the Paris-based program officer for sustainable public procurement at the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep).

Read more at The Guardian.

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