Beautiful Green World
On the myths of a Green Economy. Luxemburg Argumente no. 3 by Ulrich Brand.
It will stop climate change and the extinction of species and in so doing will create high growth rates and millions of jobs: the green economy. It’s seen as a miraculous weapon. Through it, global capitalism will be stabilised. And then it will be sustainable as well. But what is the green economy? In it, policy parameters are supposed to ensure the flow of capital to make markets and economy «greener» and create «green» jobs. Enterprises are to pay an «appropriate» price for environmental damage. And not least: The state is supposed to orient its public procurements to sustainability criteria and create sustainable infrastructures.
As of June2012 in the UN’s Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro, the green economy is to become a new central concept of global policy. The conference is taking place on the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where the magic formula «sustainable development» was coined. In 2012 the green economy is on everyone’s lips. For 20 years now people have been rhapsodising over the greening of capitalism. At the same time it is clear that somehow sustainable development is not faring so well. CO2 emissions are increasing. Biological diversity is contracting. Famine, impoverishment and social inequality are increasing in many countries. The much feted «conciliation of ecology and economy» is proving hard to construct. The green economy is not what many want to see it as: a magical formula which will offer solutions on a silver tray for many problems.
With this brochure we want to demonstrate that green economy is a contested term, which can be filled with many different contents – according to different interests. And we hope to show where the proposals fall short, seek a too hasty compromise with the ruling forces and suppress alternatives rather than promote them. It is clear that if the green economy does not break with the structures of the old economy and merely serves as a growth programme for the latter, it will quickly lead to disillusionment and lose its sheen.
Table of contents
1. «The green economy stimulates sustainable development»
2. «The crisis is an opportunity for a green economy»
3. «The green economy reconciles economy with ecology»
4. «The green economy creates good jobs»
5. «Greater efficiency leads to more growth with less resource consumption»
6. «Environmental protection and sustainability need a strong state»
7. «Corporations are the motors of the green economy»
8. «Green money facilitates the green economy»
9. «Germany can expand its position as a world-market leader through green technologies»
10. «Consumer power forces enterprises to protect the environment»
11. «The green economy creates opportunities for development for the South»
12. «The green economy fights poverty»
In view of the false promises offered by the green economy, a social-ecological transformation is necessary (and possible)!
For further reading
(Research assistant: Jana Flemming)
- Schöne Grüne Welt, German version