A "Green Economy" is supposed to be better for the environment, or reduce the negative impacts of our activities.
A "New Green Deal", as promoted by UNEP, also aims to increase human well-being, reduce social inequalities, enhance nature, reduce scarcities, and produce "sustainable economic growth".
The image on the left was taken from a UNEP policy document. But... Money doesn't grow, of course. So it's probably meant to say that investments can enhance nature. Or is the tree sprouting despite the impact of the money economy?
We denote serious flaws and contradictions in the "Green Economy" and "New Green Deal" concepts and their feasibility.
We chose the UNEP, from among many others, to discuss the "Green Economy" because it is the United Nations Environment Programme that has the intergovernmental, specific mission to protect the environment for us and our children [UNEP's mission].
UNEP wants to "improve our quality of life, without compromising that of future generations," a variant of the Brundtland Agenda 21 definition. The economists of UNEP appear firmly committed to the idea that a higher quality of life must be attained by economic growth, although "quality" can be addressed in other, less resource-depleting ways.
The UNEP's notions of a "green economy" appear being largely based upon a research paper that the UNEP commissioned to an economics professor, Edward B Barbier, from the American University of Wyoming.
UNEP turned this into their "New Green Deal" initiative.
UNEP's policies are also firmly embedded in the ideologies of so-called "free trade" and globalisation. This is a small wonder since most leaders at UNEP are economists, rather than environmental scientists.
UNEP's "Green New Deal"UNEP claims, in this poster from December 2009, what their models are:
This can all happen, UNEP says, simultaneously, without "burden shifting."
The time frame is left open, but over time the improvements are accelerating, it the graph suggests.
Unfortunately, we fail to understand how we could grow, become taller, without using more material resources, more energy, more water, more land, without further depleting non-renewables, without impacting more on biodiversity, and without emitting more greenhouse gases.
[UNEP's green economy resource site Barbier's report]
under development (November 2010) > click to comment
"To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations." [21.11.2010 Mission statement]
UNEP appears being captured by economists' thinking patterns, mixing social and economic desirabilities with hopes and expectations of technological progress and inventions.
Environmental science and reality are frequently clouded by economic terminology, lacking scientific inquiry.
A prime example of unwarranted technocratic hopes and illusions are the Kyoto Protocal's mechanisms to mitigate climate change. ...(...)
striving for the highest possible scientific validity.
A green economy (GE) can be defined as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. A GE is characterized by substantially increased investments in economic sectors that build on and enhance the Earth’s natural capital or reduce ecological scarcities and environmental risks. These sectors include renewable energy, low-carbon transport, energy-efficient buildings, clean technologies, improved waste management, improved freshwater provision, sustainable agriculture and forest management, and sustainable fisheries. These investments are driven or supported by national policy reforms and the development of international policy and market infrastructure. top