Leading experts set out their vision for a green economy

News, 12 September 2017
The Green Economy Coalition asked leading green thinkers to define a green economy. Now, on its new website, the GEC is asking: "What does 'a green economy' mean to you?"

The faces of some of the experts who contributed their thoughts about a green economy (Image: GEC)

The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is a global network that aims to develop a new economic vision that works for people and the planet. To mark the launch of its new website, the coalition asked leading green thinkers to set out their personal vision of a green economy. Politicians, activists and industry leaders from around the globe responded.

Now the coalition wants to hear from you:

  • What is your vision for a green economy?
  • What do you believe a truly green and fair future will mean for yourself, your family, and your community? 
To share your vision, you can add a comment to the discussion web page, reply on the GEC Facebook page or email the coalition direct. 

The GEC includes more than 50 organisations that are committed to accelerating a transition to a new green inclusive economy. The coalition is working with its members to turn the concept of greener, healthier and fairer economies into practical reforms that can be implemented locally and are globally relevant. 

A radical new ambition for humanity

Prof. Paul Ekins, co-director of UK Energy Research Centre, says the green economy represents "a radical new ambition for humanity". He says this ambition aims to "ensure that our decision-making processes give full value to nature and what it gives to us, so that we continue to reap its benefits now and in the future.”

Andy Stirling, professor of Science & Technology Policy at the University of Sussex, and co-director of the STEPS research and policy centre, says there are many possible futures that can be more green and more fair. He stresses equity: "Among the most import drivers of green transformations, then, is continuous democratic struggle – to challenge entrenched power; emancipate a plurality of currently marginalised interests; and enable greater diversity and experiment.”

IIED director Andrew Norton says: "For me achieving green economy means that everyone gets to live in a place with clean air, in a country with social justice and gender equality, in a continent where the natural world in thriving, and in a world with a stable climate and a commitment to upholding human rights for all."

Hunter S. Lovins, chief executive officer of Natural Capitalism Solutions, says simply:  "It's a world of shared well-being on a healthy planet."

Many of the experts focused on the environment. Dame Georgina Mace, head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London, says: "As an ecologist I like to think that the green economy is one that fundamentally embraces the dynamics of the Earth's life support systems, ensuring that the benefits can flow to everyone, present and future."

Anders Wijkman, vice-president of the Club of Rome, says he hopes that the GEC will speed up the change to a green economy. He says: "My hope is that both the growth of the GEC and its new website will help accelerate the much needed change. Only a green, inclusive economy offers hope for the future!"

More about the GEC

The coalition's new website shows how it works with local civil society groups around the world to explore policies in different national contexts. By establishing hubs in seven locations (Senegal, Uganda, South Africa, Peru, Mongolia, India and the Caribbean) the GEC aims to ensure that national green growth strategies are informed and shaped by local experiences. The new website also features detailed case studies of policies in action.

The GEC is governed by a steering group that meets every two months to decide on strategic and management issues, and is coordinated by a small secretariat housed at IIED's offices in London. 


Emily Benson (emily.benson@greeneconomycoalition.org), programme manager, Green Economy Coalition

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