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
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.
What is the carbon footprint of the richest 1% and how can it be reduced? This article is a response to a report by Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel on unequal carbon footprints. I also explore how policies to redistribute wealth could potentially increase or decrease an individual’s carbon footprint.
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.”