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UNRISD Releases Film on the Social Dimensions of the Green Economy

5 January 2012: The UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has released a short film titled "Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social," which explores the green economy's potential as a path to inclusive, sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The film emphasizes that the definition of green economy, as provided by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), takes into consideration social goals. The definition notes that a green economy is one that improves human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities based upon a combination of low carbon growth, resource efficiency and social inclusiveness. The film highlights that the green economy proposal attempts to address the ongoing triple crisis, at the sociopolitical, economic and ecological levels. It argues that the ecological crisis can be harnessed to solve this triple crisis as a driver to promoting economic growth.

The film states that many believe the green economy to be capitalism's best hope to create jobs, restore growth and limit climate change. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the proposed green economy will seize the opportunity to enhance human well-being and transform social structures and power relations that underpin the various forms of vulnerability and inequalities.

The film describes some of the weakness of the green economy approach, including: the danger of a greenwashing consensus imposed by the North on the South, closing off the space for other alternatives of development; the fact that it cannot address the infinite growth of a finite planet; and that it tries to decouple economic growth from environmental destruction.

This film is the first of a series of six films titled "Bringing the Social to Rio+20." The film uses footage from recordings and interviews from the 2011 UNRISD conference on "Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension," which took place from 10-11 October 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. [UNRISD Press Release and Video] [UNRISD Green Economy Webpage]