These twelve theses are based on the work Beautiful Green World by Ulrich Brand, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation contributed to its translation. Ulrich Brand, born in 1967 in Konstanz (Germany), works as a Professor of International Politics at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on international politics and international political economy, with an emphasis on resource and environmental politics (biological diversity, climate change, food, energy and financialization of nature) and socio-ecological transformations. Since January 2011, he is a member of the Enquete (Expert) Commission “Growth, Well-Being and Quality of Life” of the German Bundestag.
Here, we present twelve propositions that represent the green economy paradigm. For the full publication with all sources, see here.
01 “GREEN ECONOMY STIMULATES SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”
One main argument is that sustainable development does not take place because of a lacking will of political institutions. With Green Economy, enterprises get new markets, the employees get meaningful work and the countries of the South get opportunities in the “green sectors” of the world market. At the same time society and nature profits from a reduced consumption of resources.
02 “THE CRISIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A GREEN ECONOMY”
Crises can optimistically be perceived as opportunities to change and restructure the economy. The European Commission in 2010 endorsed a plan for growth based on green technology.
03 “GREEN ECONOMY RECONCILES ECONOMY WITH ECOLOGY.”
The latest innovation in ecology protection involves the process of including nature into economic calculations as “natural capital” in order to conserve it. Turning away from systems of pollution towards a green investment scenario, as coined by the United Nations, the world should see higher economic growth and lower unemployment.
04 “GREEN ECONOMY CREATES GOOD JOBS”
In the European Union, more jobs can be created in the green economy sector as the Europe-wide CO2 reduction goal has been increased from 20% to 30%. The jobs are predicted to be especially attractive and well paid as they tend to include a higher-skilled labour force.
05 “GREATER EFFICIENCY LEADS TO MORE GROWTH WITH LESS RESOURCE CONSUMPTION”
A condition and consequence for green economy could be a sharp increase in resource efficiency: through improved technologies and organisation of production, with every Euro of economic output continually less raw material should be consumed and fewer pollutants emitted. In this way limitless growth is supposed to be feasible despite all.
06 “ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY NEED A STRONG STATE”
Only if regulations are binding for all companies will there be no competitive disadvantage for those companies that produce ecologically. On the other hand, the companies improve their technology through this and become more competitive. The transition to a resource-efficient and sustainable economy and society thus needs strong state involvement on global level.
07 “THERE IS HOPE: CORPORATIONS CAN
BE THE MOTORS
OF A GREEN ECONOMY”
As many of us agree enterprises and consumers are the main actors of today’s economy and they normally act by the script written by the state, through regulations and policies. In this scenario, caught between the public demand and competition, corporations have the potential to become innovators of social change, but why does that happen so rarely?
08 “GREEN MONEY FACILITATES THE GREEN ECONOMY”
In green economy, so it is promised, capital will be steered away from the “dirty” sectors toward the “green” domains. For this, massive investments in the energy sector and infrastructure and the development of sustainable industrial goods and agriculture are needed.
09 “COUNTRIES LIKE GERMANY CAN EXPAND ITS POSITION AS A WORLD-MARKET LEADER THROUGH GREEN TECHNOLOGIES.”
The German market share in environmental technology has jumped from 6% to 30% and these as well as the market itself are expected to keep dramatically growing.
10 “CONSUMER POWER FORCES ENTERPRISES TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT”
Consumers can decide about market changes! Scientists praise a cultural shift towards “post-material values” and “consumers sovereignty” forces enterprises to “cleaner” products.
11 “GREEN ECONOMY CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR THE SOUTH”
If economic growth and investments are less dependent on the destruction of environmental goods and the sacrifice of environmental quality, the United Nations Environmental Program argues, then the rich and poor countries can equally achieve a more sustainable development.
12 “THE GREEN ECONOMY FIGHTS POVERTY”
The United Nations state officially that “Environmental destruction and poverty can be dealt with simultaneously by the applications of green agricultural methods”. Sustainable forestry and ecological agriculture are especially significant for subsistence economy, on which depends the livelihood of 1.3 trillion people.