• Dato' Ahmad Ibrahim Academy of Sciences Malaysia




There is no denying that the green economy is already upon us. And many are convinced that the phenomenon is unstoppable. Experts are unanimous on the fact that the world is destined to be ruled more and more by a growing preference for green products and services. Increasingly, customers worldwide are showing their detestment of products and services which pose serious threats to the environment and the natural ecosystem related to it. It is easy to understand why. Despite recent adverse rhetoric by the new US administration which dispute the phenomenon of global warming and the consequent climate change, most other countries are stuck to the belief that climate change is real. The evidences presented by world climate scientists are very convincing. Rising global temperatures, the melting of the arctic ice, rising sea water levels and frequent extreme weather conditions are all documented proofs that the global climate is undergoing drastic change. A change which, unless arrested or reversed, can spell disaster for the world community.

The green economy is not just about climate change. Another important megatrend driving the rise of the green economy is the growing depletion of key resources. These include energy, water and materials as a result of the burgeoning world population. The world population which has already exceeded 7 billion is inching towards the 8 billion mark in a matter of years. At the current rate of consumption, the demand for such resources is not going to be sustainable. Though the preference for renewable materials will rise, the capacity to generate them will be limited by land. And the opening up of new agricultural land is also strongly opposed by the need to preserve and conserve the environmentally sensitive areas of the forests. There is no doubt that the rise of the green economy bears serious implications on all industries, NR included. Their production systems will have to change. Their consumption patterns will also have to change. Undoubtedly the NR industry will face both threats and challenges. But there will also be opportunities. If the NR industry is carefully planned, with the right strategies, it is not impossible for the industry to neutralise such challenges and capture the opportunities. This is where investment in R&D and more intelligent production systems is key. This paper discusses the factors driving the rise in the global green economy and the positive and negative implications on the world NR industry.