From the UNDP Arab States website, here is my contribution to the Rio+20 preparations
‘Green Economy’ is not the pathway | Rania ElMasri
Soon, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will convene – with the goal of defining “a sustainable development pathway that leads to a future in which the whole global population can enjoy a decent standard of living whilst preserving our ecosystems and natural resources.”
In the 20 years since the first Rio conference, environmental institutions and environmental ministries have increased in number – while the environmental crisis has deepened and widened. Alongside the global environmental crisis is the economic crisis – seen in the growing national, regional, and global inequalities. Of course, the environmental crisis worsens the economic crisis, since a healthy economy cannot be built upon an unhealthy environment.
Now, green economy is presented as a solution, built on what is economically permissible rather than on an environmental target based on the earth’s carrying capacity. According to the promoters of this concept, the green economy would maintain the market economy, designed on the basis of a conventional growth imperative. The logic of the green economy is that the market is the place to manage ecology, and that only that which is owned and has a price can be protected, and thus the solution is to call for “better” economic accounting, to increase support for market-based instruments, and to further integrate natural resources (otherwise known as “ecosystem capital and services”) into the international financing system.
But wait. …