Fallacies of green growth in coping with climate change

Note: In the run up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit, where the global elites plan to unveil their new model for green capitalism (green as in gangrene–rotten and deadly),  a new report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development debunks the idea of “Green Growth” to combat climate change.  It almost sounds like they’re calling for system change not climate change!
–The GJEP Team
According to Third World Network:
The report, published in December 2011 that reviews the fallacies of green growth in coping with climate change and the implications for development space. It draws on ample empirical data and examples, and analyses the environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency and social-political acceptability of the main elements in the green growth toolbox.
The UNCTAD paper by Ulrich Hoffmann analyses “Green Growth Myths” by examining (a) Arithmetic of growth and efficiency limits; (b) Governance and market constraints; as well we (c) Systemic limits.  It then considers “Development Challenges and Implications”.
The abstract of the paper is as follows:
Many economists and policy makers advocate a fundamental shift towards “green growth” as the new, qualitatively-different growth paradigm, based on enhanced material/resource/energy efficiency and drastic changes in the energy mix. “Green growth” may work well in creating new growth impulses with reduced environmental load and facilitating related technological and structural change. But can it also mitigate climate change at the required scale (i.e. significant, absolute and permanent decline of GHG emissions at global level) and pace? The UNCTAD Discussion Paper argues that growth, technological, population-expansion and governance constraints as well as some key systemic issues cast a very long shadow on the “green growth” hopes. One should not deceive oneself into believing that such evolutionary (and often reductionist) approach will be sufficient to cope with the complexities of climate change. It may rather give much false hope and excuses to do nothing really fundamental that can bring about a U-turn of global GHG emissions. The proponents of a resource efficiency revolution and a drastic change in the energy mix need to scrutinize the historical evidence, in particular the arithmetic of economic and population growth. Furthermore, they need to realize that the required transformation goes beyond innovation and structural changes to include democratization of the economy and cultural change. Climate change calls into question the global equality of opportunity for prosperity (i.e. ecological justice and development space) and is thus a huge developmental challenge for the South and a question of life and death for some developing countries (who increasingly resist the framing of climate protection versus equity).

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing

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