Limits of the Green Economy
The ‘green economy’ is often presented as the solution to both the climate and economic crisis. The underlying rationale is that if the market can become the tool for tackling climate change, the fight against climate change can be the royal road to solving economic problems. But how ‘green’ is the green economy? And how social or democratic can it be? This book examines the risk that the ‘green economy’ is not so much about greening the economy, as it is about economising the green message. In doing so, the authors unravel the myth of the green economy in all its dimensions – from emissions trading to sustainable consumption, from population control to technological optimism.
The Limits of the Green Economy provides a critical and in-depth analysis of the different ingredients of the ‘green economy’ project at length: the establishment of new markets (e.g. emissions trading), the privatisation of nature through new forms of enclosures (e.g. the Clean Development Mechanism), the reliance on new and often dangerous technologies (e.g. geo-engineering), the discourse on sustainable consumption and corporate social responsibility, and the stress on population control. The fundamental aim of the ‘green economy’, it is argued, is to build a new model of capitalism, attempting to integrate ecological concerns into how the system works. Taking a critical approach, this book offers a highly original perspective on the social and ecological consequences of a global economic system, characterised by international competition, torn by class inequalities and based on endless growth, attempting to tackle climate change within the confines of capitalism. Furthermore, the book advocates an alternative climate justice perspective, arguing that an effective and socially just answer to climate change demands a reduction of the market, a radical expansion of the scope of the ‘commons’, and a democratisation and enlargement of the public sphere.
This book should be of interest to students and scholars of environmental politics, political philosophy, political economy and climate change.