For some the green economy is the answer to the world's economic and environmental crises, while for others it is a false solution.
Why Green Economy? is a space to share ideas from across the world on a new economic model to tackle climate change and protect the environment.
Read summaries of key materials on the links between the environment, climate change, energy and economics.
Introduction to the green economy
The Natural Capital Protocol, which is mainly aimed at business users, could potentially transform the way businesses operate because it comprehensively demonstrates how companies are dependent on a healthy environment. In my opinion for the Protocol to be considered successful it also has to transform the business model and reduce the impact of those economic sectors that have a hugely negative effect on the environment. Can an oil or mining company reduce the footprint of their business activity, change where they operate or change the products they sell?
In April 2016 a group of academics and representatives from NGOs met at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London to discuss the challenge of reducing inequality and unsustainable consumption. I presented my research on the ecological footprint of the richest people and set out what I saw as the priority questions to focus on.
A central theme of this book is that the “concept of the Green Economy offers a new model, based primarily on large-scale technological solutions. But the Green Economy cares little about politics, barely registers human rights, does not recognize social actors and suggests the possibility of reform without conflict. It suggests that the world as we know it can continue with green growth.”
The introduction notes that: “Green Economy is a source of both hope and controversy. For some, it points the way out of permanent environmental and economic crises and promises to reconcile – a long cherished Utopia – ecology and economics. It fosters the hope that we can hang on to our current high standard of material prosperity.”