Transitioning to a Green Economy

Political Economy of Approaches in Small States

image of Transitioning to a Green Economy

While the term ‘green economy’ has been widely used at the international level, very little information exists about what the concept looks like in practice. What are the policies required? What are the challenges of implementation at national level?

This book contains case studies from eight small states that have committed publicly to greening their economies: Botswana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nauru, Samoa and Seychelles. It provides insights into the success of various initiatives and highlights how small states themselves are making practical progress on a green economy approach.




The concept of a ‘green economy’ has received considerable international attention as a model of how to overcome the challenges of climate change and promote sustainable development. A large amount of discussion and analysis has helped to conceptualise the green economy and set out model policies that could help to realise it. There has been far less analysis of the realities of putting this concept in practice, and in particular, what the implications and options are for small states to transform their economies in this way. There is recognition that the transformation to a green economy requires a consistent and joined-up approach, to shift incentives and investments toward less resource-intensive technologies and industries. It also requires sustained support from the highest levels of government, backed by communication campaigns to persuade businesses and citizens of the value of greening their activities. These are not straightforward or linear processes, and so it is worthwhile to reflect on which pathways may be identified by particular countries and what these can hope to achieve.


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