For the Green Economy Coalition, a green economy has two transformative ideals. It is one that invests explicitly in people, prosperity and wellbeing and it invests in our natural systems in order to protect and restore them. They have identified five themes of change to bring about this vision for a greener, fairer economy.
1. Investing in natural capital: a green economy is one that invests in, protects and restores our ecosystems and biodiversity in order to secure their services for people today and for future generations. This means valuing the services that natural capital provides to people and the economy; driving investment towards managing our global ecosystems, particularly those that the poor depend on; and ensuring that communities are able to manage, own and protect their natural capital.
2. Investing in people: a green economy is one that allocates environmental benefits and costs fairly to achieve a more just and equitable society. This means committing to transparent and affirmative action for inclusive growth on the part of all governments; ensuring the participation of young people, women, poor and low-skilled in a new economy; and investing in re-skilling workers and communities as we undergo a transition to a low-carbon economy.
3. Greening high impact sectors and services: a green economy is one that is driven by green economic services and industries that provide decent work and employment prospects. This means promoting equitable ownership and workers’ rights in emerging industries; tighter regulation and standards on the part of businesses and governments; and creating the incentives for innovation across the consumption-production value chain.
4. Driving investment and financial flows: a green economy is one that will drive investment and financial flows towards restoring our environment and generating a better quality of life for all. This means reforming subsidies, taxation and public sector financing to meet environmental and societal needs rather than just GDP growth; driving investment towards new private sector markets; and putting an end to short-term market speculation.
5. Improving governance and measurement: green economic governance will redefine ‘progress’ in light of environmental and societal needs; and make governments, businesses and consumers more accountable for their actions. This means introducing new metrics, beyond GDP, that measure well being and environmental health; generating long-term national action plans for an economic transition; and reforming corporate accountability standards to ensure that bad practice is penalised and good practice is rewarded.
Read the full Green Economy Coalition's 4 pager:Our emerging policy priorities for Rio 2012