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New UN Study Detailing Ways For Companies To Create A Digital Economy

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New UN Study Detailing Ways For Companies To Create A Digital Economy

UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance have released a new report detailing ten tangible steps governments and companies can take to embrace digitisation of payments, leaving behind a cash-dominant economy.

The new report comes just as McKinsey Global Institute released projections that digital finance could lead to a $3.7 trillion GDP boost by 2025, create 95 million new jobs across all sectors, and save $110 billion annually in leakages in emerging countries.

There is a large amount of evidence supporting the benefits of transitioning from cash to digital payments, but implementation is often difficult for governments to do on their own. This is in part because successfully creating an economy where digital payments are widely available requires a collaborative approach between many players in the public and private sectors.

The Better Than Cash Alliance research studied 25 countries, including India, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Brazil, and Mexico, among others. What emerged were ten ‘accelerators’ or actions that regularly proved to make a strong impact in advancing the creation of economies where digital payments are widely available.

“The new McKinsey Global Institute study on digital finance for all should inspire emerging countries’ leadership to move quickly on creating economies where digital payments are widely available,” said Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance. “We also released a study today that shows how governments and companies can rapidly shift away from cash. Building a digital economy can take significant work, but as the new data shows, it is completely achievable and will drive inclusive growth, helping people lift themselves out of poverty.”

 

The new McKinsey Global Institute study on digital finance for all should inspire emerging countries’ leadership to move quickly on creating economies where digital payments are widely available.

 

This report also highlights the ever increasing importance of transitioning to digital payments. The data compiled in the report provides evidence of the benefits that digital payments bring, including:

* India saves US $2 billion every year by digitizing fuel subsidies also reducing payment leakages.
* In Tanzania, the digitization of port business-to-government payments trimmed US $175 million in annual revenue leakages and has the potential to boost GDP by up to US $1.8 billion.
* Brazil saved over 30 percent in transaction costs in government to people disbursements.
* As of result of installing 20,000 point-of-sale devices, Mexico experienced a 17 percent growth rate in this type of transactions between 2014 and 2015.

The analysis of the evidence has led to identifying 10 actions on how other countries can accelerate their initiatives to save money, raise tax revenue, and increase opportunities for their citizens to lead better lives.

The 10 accelerators are:

1. Promote merchant acceptance infrastructure across micro, small, and medium enterprises to deepen usage among consumers and larger payers alike.

2. Leverage existing networks or platforms to deliver digital payment products and services to extend digital payment services more quickly and in a way that lowers the cost.

3. Establish a shared digital infrastructure for players to reduce barriers to entry and promote innovation, both in public and private institutions.

4. Establish interoperability to reduce barriers that confine digital transaction to a single payment platform to increase adoption and payments acceptance.

5. Develop a unique identification program that both public and private sector players can access to verify identities can drive digital payments and financial inclusion. Consumer protection frameworks are essential to ensure adequate privacy, security, and data control.

6. Digitise routine use cases that individuals frequently use for transactions can increase comfort with digital payments and increase digital transaction volumes.

7. Digitise government payments to advance a digital payments ecosystem by saving transaction costs and increasing civilian access to payments.

8. Digitise government receipts to promote comfort with digital payments among individuals and businesses, and ultimately reduces leakages and boosts revenues. Collaboration with private sector is key.

9. Establish regulation that promotes innovation and responsible practices, by understanding the gaps and barriers of existing regulation, and engaging all stakeholders.

10. Implement policies that incentivize and improve the convenience of digital payments to drive faster and more widespread access and adoption of digital payments.

 

Understanding these accelerators will help governments develop tailored approaches to best apply this knowledge in their appropriate markets. The report is accompanied with a toolkit to specifically help policymakers and important stakeholders to develop such programs.

 

Features

The World’s Top Cities for Owning a Green Home

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Demand for green homes has risen sharply in recent years. Dodge Data & Analytics’ SmartMarket Report stated that over half of homebuilders project that 60% or more of the homes they build will be green within the next three years.

While the outlook for green home is surging throughout the world, growth is far from uniform. The outlook in some cities remains much stronger than others. Here are some of the best cities in the world for building or buying a green home.

Vancouver

Vancouver has a population of nearly 650,000 people. It has a surprisingly low levels of pollution for a city its size. According to research from Siemens, air quality is significantly better than most other communities of the same size. The city government has expressed a desire to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions even further. They expect to cut air pollution by 30% by 2020. Many people in the community have green homes and the government is likely to offer new incentives for green homes in the future.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is rated as the best city in the United States to own a green home. Within a 12-month period, over one in three homes that were sold were environmentally friendly. Demand for green homes in Philadelphia is higher than other homes. The average green home costs 45% more than homes that lack green features.

Elliot Springs

Australia has begun making substantial progress on the green energy front in recent years. According to one company that offers house and land for sale near Townsville, a growing number of houses are built around sustainability.

Curitiba

Brazil is not known for its commitment to green energy. The city of Curitiba is an exception. Despite being surrounded by communities that lack its vision of a green renaissance, the Siemens report shows that the city is outperforming the global green living index.

Some indexes rank the city even higher. Grist ranks it as the third greenest city on earth.

“As a whole, the green urban areas in Curitiba are among the largest in the world and every inhabitant of the city has approximately 52 m² of nature to romp about in. Brazil’s green capital makes a tremendous effort to preserve the city’s natural environment and is regarded by many as one of the world’s best examples of green urban planning.”

Boston

When most people picture Boston, they usually envision a city filled with smog. This stereotype arises among people that have visited the city off and on over the last 50 years. However, it has made tremendous progress over the past decade and has started to become one of the greenest cities in the United States.

The changes are being driven in Fenway. This is one of the least developed areas of the city, so most new construction is focused on creating green building structures. Older parts of the city have existing housing, which is often decades old. After these buildings need to be replaced, the city will try to focus on green initiatives. This will help the city receive even more attention as a green city.

Copenhagen

Denmark as a whole is an incredibly green country. Few people own cars and homes are minimalistic, which reduces CO2 emissions. Copenhagen leads the charge in the country’s commitment to green living, so it is rated as the cleanest city in all of Europe.

Copenhagen hasn’t needed to make nearly as much effort to earn this title as most other cities, largely due to the culture that rejects decadence and embraces sustainability. Citizens have coordinated with the government to boost green living, but most of these conditions are driven by free market ideals. They haven’t needed to rely nearly as extensively on central planning as San Francisco and other Western cities.

Cultural Nodes Are Driving the Green Housing Market

Some of the largest cities in the world are embracing a cosmopolitan view that encourages green living. This is propelling demand for green housing in their areas and the rest of the world. People that want to buy a green home should consider investing in one of these areas.

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Energy

China Unexpectedly Emerging as Global Leader in Green Technology

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green technology

In the late 20th century, China underwent an amazing industrial revolution. However, in the process, it produced far more pollution, which raised concerns about global warming. The United Nations Environmental Council placed a lot of pressure on China to reduce its carbon footprint. It is clearly making headway now and may actually be a shining example for the rest of the world to follow.

China is Taking Environmental Concerns More Seriously than Ever Before

In recent years, China has made tremendous progress. In 2014, the World Bank praised the Chinese government for integrating forest development, biodiversity conservation and carbon reduction strategies. According to the World Bank analysis, china increased its forest cover by nearly 50% between the late 1980s and 2005. While analysts stated that those levels were still significantly below the global average, they stated that China is clearly headed in the right direction.

“China has long been a forest-poor country. Though its forest cover increased from 13 percent in the 1980s to 18.2 percent by 2005 thanks to an extensive plantations program, the hectare per capita of 0.13 remained significantly below the world average of 0.6.  With rapid economic growth, China’s forests came under intense pressure due to the growing demand for timber and pulpwood. The logging ban introduced by the government in 1998 further aggravated the wood shortage. This challenge was more acute in Guangxi, where combined with weak forest resources protection  resulted in a threat to its unique biodiversity including one of the largest and most important representatives of karst ecosystem in the world.”

The government’s policies to improve forest area and reduce carbon emissions are highly encouraging, but their new focus on green energy is even more impressive. In May, Premier Li Keqiang announced that the country is tapering steel production and relying less on coal-powered electricity. They have made substantial investments in wind and energy power, which are beginning to make a difference all over the world. They are also investing more heavily in solar. In fact, they developed the world’s largest floating solar plant.

Many environmental experts feel that the country has gone from being one of the worst contributors to climate change to a shining role model in the quest to save the environment.

What drove China to make these changes? The biggest incentive was the need to save it so when people from pollution. National Geographic reports that approximately 1.1 million people die from air pollution in China every year. The government needed to institute massive changes to reverse this epidemic.

Additional progress it is still needed

Nations around the world should applaud China for making such revolutionary changes to save its own citizens in the rest of the world. However, the country still needs to implement more changes to set itself on the right track.

The government has passed a number of regulations to improve air quality. However, many businesses have been reluctant to follow them.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection surveyed nearly 20,000 companies across northern China. They found that 70% of those companies or nearly 14,000 failed to meet environmental standards.

Some of the violations were fairly benign and easy to rectify. Others were far more severe. According to the report, which was published on a state new site, nearly 5,000 companies were operating in on off the rise locations or fail to secure the right environmental permits. The ministry of environmental protection states that stricter enforcement is necessary.

Despite the fact there are still areas for improvement, China is still headed in the right direction. It simply needs to examine some of the ongoing challenges and find new ways to save money.

China May Lead the World in the Fight Against Climate Change

Li Keqiang and other Chinese officials are taking environmental concerns far more seriously than their predecessors. The country is expected to roll out new policies in the future and may be one of the global leaders in the fight against climate change.

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