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The policy challenges for green economy and sustainable economic development

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  • Edward Barbier

Abstract

Green growth, the promotion of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies and sustainable development are frequently viewed as complementary goals by international policymakers. This paper argues that green growth will not ensure sustainable economic development as long as global ecosystem degradation and loss means that the world continues to face worsening problems of ecological scarcity — the loss of myriad benefits, or “services”, as these systems are exploited for human use and activity. Overcoming this problem requires addressing further sustainability and funding challenges. The sustainability challenge is to overcome a vast array of market, policy and institutional failures that prevents recognition of the economic significance of this scarcity. The funding challenge is to bridge the shortfall between the global benefits that humankind receives from ecosystems and what we are willing to pay to maintain and conserve them. Improving economic and scientific analysis of ecological scarcity, valuing the loss in benefits, and translating the implications into policy are the key steps for addressing the sustainability challenge. Exploring and implementing a range of innovative financing mechanisms, from international payments for ecosystem services to financial and currency transactions taxes to international financing facilities are possibilities for alleviating the funding challenge.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Barbier, 2011. "The policy challenges for green economy and sustainable economic development," Natural Resources Forum, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 233-245, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:natres:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:233-245
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/narf.2011.35.issue-3
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    1. repec:prg:jnlpep:v:preprint:id:626:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Combes, J.-L. & Combes Motel, P. & Minea, A. & Villieu, P., 2015. "Deforestation and seigniorage in developing countries: A tradeoff?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 220-230.
    3. repec:prg:jnlpep:v:2017:y:2017:i:4:id:626:p:487-499 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:rfa:aefjnl:v:5:y:2018:i:1:p:29-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Somlanare Romuald KINDA & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Jean-Louis COMBES, 2014. "Do Environmental Policies Hurt Trade Performance?," Working Papers 201404, CERDI.
    6. Mundaca, Luis & Markandya, Anil, 2016. "Assessing regional progress towards a ‘Green Energy Economy’," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 1372-1394.
    7. Marcela-Cornelia Danu & Elena Nechita & Liliana Rozemarie Manea, 2015. "The Role Of The Urban Environment In Implementing The Circular Economy In Romania," Studies and Scientific Researches. Economics Edition, "Vasile Alecsandri" University of Bacau, Faculty of Economic Sciences, issue 21.
    8. Kathleen McAfee, 2016. "Green economy and carbon markets for conservation and development: a critical view," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 333-353, June.

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