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UNRISD Contributes to “Greening the Economy” Journal Issue

12 March 2012: The Society for International Development, in partnership with the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), has published a special issue on "Greening the Economy" of its journal "Development" journal, which aims to contribute to the discussions and debates at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

This special issue examines the meaning of "greening the economy" in the context of the different debates around the Rio+20 preparations. It argues for long-term changes in individual and collective lifestyles in order to transform current unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and that this requires not only a green economy, but also "green governance" to promote synergies among diverse values, local governance and macro-level policies. The issue discusses the dangers of turning to "green economics," based on a vision of the world as a market that can manage the environment through international policies such as Payments for Ecosystem Services and carbon-offset trading.

The issue further examines how neglected social dimensions can be integrated into a green economy in order to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction. One of the key messages is that the world can no longer afford to promote development systems that are inequitable, gender-blind, and North-dominated. It also argues that sustainable development should not be left to governments and policymakers, but should engage all citizens in debating what is fair and equitable. The special issue also features a series of interviews and contributions from development economists, feminists and ecologists looking at development aid, expectations for Rio+20,  economic growth and climate change.

Many of the articles contained in this special issue were first presented at the conference on "Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension" hosted by UNRISD in October 2011. [Publication: Greening the Economy]