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 Political Economy of Transitioning to a Green Economy in Jamaica

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s comprehensive report on the green economy in 2011 began with the observation that, ‘The last two years have seen the idea of a “green economy” float out of its specialist moorings in environmental economics and into the mainstream of policy discourse’ (UNEP 2011, 14). The explanation for the emergence of the idea seemed to be both the rejection of the dominant economic paradigm, with its crises and market failures in the opening decade of the new millennium, and the positive possibilities of ‘a new economic paradigm – one in which material wealth is not delivered perforce at the expense of growing environmental risks, ecological scarcities and social disparities’ (ibid, 14). At Rio+20 in 2012, the concept took centre stage as both a reaffirmation of the commitment to sustainable development and a step forward to build resilience in a world of economic uncertainties and accelerating climate change.


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