The UNEP identified 10 key sectors ranging from agriculture to waste management as key sectors that could lead the way toward a low-carbon economy.
UNEP said it views a green economy as a catalyst for growth in developing countries where the bulk of their revenue is derived from so-called natural capital such as forests.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement that world economies are spending too much on protecting unsustainable resources.
"With 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day and with more than 2 billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies," he added.
The report notes that transitioning toward a greener economy might cost some short-term job losses in certain sectors but Steiner said it was all part of "reshaping and refocusing" the 21st-century economy.
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