Social Dimensions of Green Economy
Economic, technological and institutional changes that currently form the basis of green economy strategies run the risk of reinforcing human insecurity and inequalities.
Based on a growing body of evidence, UNRISD last Research and Policy Brief points to diverse social consequences, and suggests key elements of alternative approaches that can promote the combined social, economic and environmental goals of sustainable development.
In the wake of the triple crises of recent years (food, energy and finance) and in lead up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the concept of green economy has taken centre stage in international development circles. However, both the concept itself, and strategies to promote a green economy, are highly contested.
By explicitly coupling green economy with the goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the Rio+20 process has called attention to the importance of social dimensions of development. But the social dimensions of green economy, and how they can be addressed, remain unclear.
This UNRISD inquiry addressed the following:
- how green economy initiatives and strategies impact different social groups and patterns of inequality;
- how green economy transitions can contribute to achieving the social objectives inherent in the concept of sustainable development;
- whose values, knowledge, priorities and interests are shaping the concept and policies of green economy;
- the role of social policy, regulation, participation and collective action in promoting both green and fair economy; and
- how to realize the potential of myriad local-level livelihood and production systems that address economic, social and environmental objectives of sustainable development.
This Research and Policy Brief was completed in April 2012 by UNRISD research staff working on Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development, and can be access here
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