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We are entering a new era of economic growth. This approach can deliver growth that is strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive. It is driven by the interaction between rapid technological innovation, sustainable infrastructure investment, and increased resource productivity.

At the heart of this new approach to growth are liveable, compact cities which have an economic dynamism that can attract creative talent, companies, and capital while higher densities enable cheaper service delivery and avoid costly urban sprawl. Powering the new growth will be affordable, clean, energy systems which are more productive and can expand energy access to the more than a billion people that currently lack it, replicating and amplifying the impact of mobile telephony on equitable growth. Agriculture and forests can become a third engine of economic growth, delivering greater food security, more nutritious food, greater rural prosperity and more equitable growth, strengthened resilience, and valuable ecosystem services. Industrial sectors, now waking up to the potential of the circular economy, will radically cut the demand for energyintensive primary materials, driving up both material productivity and cutting waste.

This new growth approach will deliver higher productivity, more resilient economies and greater social inclusion. The poorest do not benefit from the current low-productivity agriculture nor from landslides resulting from deforestation. They do not benefit from inefficient cities where daily commutes often take hours a day, exposed to highly-polluted air. The poor are those most exposed to the impacts of climate change, with just one bad weather season having the potential to push low-income families below the poverty line.

This new approach is the only economic growth path that is sustainable. It is the growth story of the 21st Century.

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CC BY-NC-ND
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open