WASHINGTON, D.C. — The continual growth of green investments and efforts worldwide is creating the first global sustainable economy, according to a recent report.

The Worldwatch Institute released "State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy" this month, highlighting new economic opportunities and actions by governments and businesses to better the world.

In 2006, about $52 billion was invested in renewable energy, a 33 percent increase from 2005, and in 2007 that number jumped up again to an estimated $66 billion. The increase in eco-friendly investments continued with carbon trading. About $30 billion was pumped into carbon trading in 2006, three times the amount spent on it in 2005.

Within the last few years, 575 environment and energy hedge funds have been created, and only the Internet and biotechnology receive more venture capital than clean tech.

The report also highlights some business and government investments and savings. Citigroup plans to invest $50 billion in climate change effort, DuPont has saved $3 billion by cutting greenhouse gas emissions 72 percent below 1991 levels, and more private companies like Wal-Mart are embracing the need to analyze the environmental and social impacts of products and supply chains.

The report encourages continued investment in sustainable fields and a move away from destructive activities such as depleting non-renewable resources and unsustainable forest harvesting. Looking beyond the savings some companies have made with green investments, the report encourages the sustainable shift to better other countries. Almost 40 countries have seen a decline of 5 percent to 60 percent in wealth due to unsustainable practices taking place within their borders.