Thursday, February 20, 2014

The downsides of green growth

He notes that the focus of green growth strategies is on technologies, rather than on who will use them – and how, which must change. Instead what is needed is to consider how exactly green-growth strategies will benefit the poor. If, on the other hand, the users of the technology are not the poor and climate vulnerable, the indirect impacts on them must be assessed.

He adds that Green-growth rhetoric often suggests the existence of "win-win" solutions. In truth, adaptation to climate change is a complex challenge. Every green-growth policy, for instance, depends on natural resources whose access is contested almost everywhere. 

He warns that unless we know how the application of a new technology will impact on the distribution and use of land, water and other vital resources, it is impossible to tell whether it will serve or hurt the poor. All too often, however, the related questions are not even asked.

He emphasizes that if the goal of green growth  is to fight poverty, the focus must be on the
people who are exposed to climate impacts and environmental risks, but who have only limited capacities to manage these risks.
But the Instead, the starting point for analysis tends to be how to implement a given technical solution, the merits of which are taken for granted. There is too little concern for empowering people to make their own informed decisions. Such lack of respect for local people’s needs and desires, however, is a recipe for failure.

Read Ian
Christoplos's full essay from here: 'The downsides of green growth'