Inside the Green Economy - Promises and Pitfalls

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The economic and ecological bases of a general prosperity are in danger, the gap between rich and poor is widening. 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.

But can efficiency be a solution if it results in even more consumption? Is it possible to save nature by putting a price on the services it provides? Should we rely on magical technological solutions to save us?

This book puts the Green Economy to the test, discusses its promises, describes actual consequences and names its blind spots. It is an invitation to embrace radical optimism to find transformative strategies for a liveable future.

Originally, Green Economy was meant to create the political space for a deeper conversation. Yet, as argued in this book, such a conversation must go beyond a shallow ‘economisation’ of nature and quick techno-fixes. ... Rather, it must establish a new ‘political ecology’ and engage widely in the creation of a new and more profound agenda for change. This task is as relevant today as it ever was. - Tim Jackson


Product details
Date of Publication
June 2016
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung / Green Books
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Language of publication
Table of contents

Preface by Tim Jackson

Foreword by Barbara Unmüßig and Ralf Fücks


PART ONE: Why “business as usual” is not an option

1. The dominance of the climate killers

2. The great loss of biological diversity

3. Business as usual in agroindustry

4. The world as we know it: inequality, poverty, hunger

5. The Green Economy as a way out of the global crisis?

PART TWO: Rampant risk: questionable instruments and innovations

6. Nature or natural capital?

7. Progress in the service of the Green Economy: Will innovation solve everything?

PART THREE: The Green Economy’s blind spots

8. A star is born – or: Environmental policy in neoliberal times

9. Civil society amid depoliticisation and shrinking spaces

10. Conclusion: making the case for a new Political Ecology



About the authors

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