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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Myths and realities of clean technologies

Myths and realities of clean technologies | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Don’t be fooled by high-profile setbacks. The cleantech sector is gaining steam—with less and less regulatory assistance. A McKinsey & Company article.
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Very optimistic McKinsey analysis about the growth of clean technologies.

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(There ain’t no) green jobs

(There ain’t no) green jobs | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

That is what the clamoring and pleading for green jobs amounts to : an attempt by parts of the industrial establishment and of the upper middle class to secure their position within the society through overt or covert public subsidies, and an attempt by the same groups to legitimize their resource grabbing operation by promising a lot of people (and nature) will benefit from it.

 

Provocative post by Damien Perrotin but with a lot of valid arguments.

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Unions challenge G20 finance ministers to unleash green jobs investment

Unions challenge G20 finance ministers to unleash green jobs investment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called on G20 Finance ministers to drive investment of at least 2% of GDP in the green economy in the wake of independent economic analysis forecasting the potential for green jobs growth.
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Rebuilding the dream: jobs for the environment

Rebuilding the dream: jobs for the environment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"We seem to forget that everything that is good for the environment is a job. Solar panels don’t put themselves up. Wind turbines don’t manufacture themselves. Houses don’t retrofit themselves and put in their own new boilers and furnaces and better-fitting windows and doors. Advanced biofuel crops don’t plant themselves. Community gardens don’t tend themselves. Farmers’ markets don’t run themselves. Every single thing that is good for the environment is actually a job, a contract, or an entrepreneurial opportunity."

 

Excellent analysis on the Climate Progress blog from the new book of the White House's former green jobs advisor Van Jones.

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Can we believe China's Corporate Social Responsibility rhetoric?

Can we believe China's Corporate Social Responsibility rhetoric? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"China is talking the talk of Corporate Social Responsibility in its 12th 5-year plan. It has even endorsed the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights. Simon Zadek argues that the new economic superpower sees a real interest in responsible and clean business, and that deeds will follow the rhetoric" (Source: Open Democracy)

 

Excellent must-read analysis of China's efforts to move to a cleaner and greener economy model. Is he painting too much of a rosy picture?

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CauliflowerEars's comment, March 24, 2012 10:45 PM
Corporate Social Repsonsibility with the Human Rights record China has, for example in Tibet? Sorry, I don't buy it - this may have some areas of substance but is basically greenwash.
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China’s big bet on green industry – and how it might green the world

"After the failure of Durban, a promising plan B to reducing carbon emissions rests upon green development industrial strategies being pursued by individual countries. And here China is in the vanguard." (Source: OpenDemocracy.net).

 

Although the story of Chinese "green industry' leadership might sound attractive to Western "greens", in reality China is just betting on all horses at the same time. It remains locked into the old paradigm of "no-limits" economic and industrial growth. It might in this way win the green competitiveness war, but it will not put the world on the path to the necessary sustainability transition.

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Global Organizations to Expand Cooperation on Green Growth for Development

Global Organizations to Expand Cooperation on Green Growth for Development | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Four leading global organizations today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, a cutting edge global initiative that will identify and address major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice.

 

Interesting initiative from the Global Green Growth Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank. Will it dare to ask the hard questions on transforming our current uneconomical growth model?

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How fast should Africa go Green?

How fast should Africa go Green? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

".. left to its own resources, – and the costs of energy implied – Africa should lag not lead in green energy. However, it is not in the global interest for Africa to be left to its own resources. If the capital inputs to energy generation and saving were available at world prices, the world could reduce emissions at much lower cost in Africa than in the North. Whether Africa leads or lags on greening thus depends upon whether international finance and regulation can rectify the region’s deficiencies in its own capital endowment."

 

Excellent article by Paul Collier on the opportunities and challenges for the greening of Africa's economy and energy system.

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Going green, big business hires auditors for proof

Going green, big business hires auditors for proof | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Green audits - which for medium-sized companies can easily cost more than $100,000 - are helping a growing number of corporations assert their environmental responsibility in the face of scrutiny from the government, as well as consumers."

 

Good article from Reuters on the need for independent audits of companies "we go green" claims.

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EU economy: Black hole or green growth

Green growth is not something that might be nice once the current approach to the financial crisis succeeds. It is the sound alternative to the dismal consequences of this approach’s failure.

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Green economy: fix our 'ends' not just our 'means' | openDemocracy

"To date the ongoing crisis has been a missed opportunity for a paradigm shift in the premises of economics and resulting economic policies. Something more fundamental will be needed to usher the world community into a twenty-first century where development, through the promotion of justice, common good, responsibility and environmental sustainability become a shared and self-reinforcing goal. The next UN Earth Summit, in Rio 2012, twenty years since Rio 1992, will focus on the ‘Green Economy’ and the ‘Institutional Framework’ for sustainable development. It offers the chance for new answers, but current language, ideas and rhetoric are less than encouraging."

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Resource scarcity, fair shares and development | WWF Articles | WWF UK

Resource scarcity, fair shares and development | WWF Articles | WWF UK | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Great report on the link between resources scarcity and global development policy. How can the poor get a fail share of prosperity
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Biomimicry: Mother Nature as a 3D Printer?

Biomimicry: Mother Nature as a 3D Printer? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Contrast our “plug-in/plastic” approach with that of our fellow Earthlings. Not having figured out how to eat fossils, they are on a pretty tight budget. They can only burn what they eat, and they have to make solutions from their own bodies or things they find around them. This leads to low-cost, highly-efficient structural solutions that use a handful of polymers, respond to the environment in adaptive ways, and can be broken down and reused by other creatures. This kind of problem-solving results in the highly interconnected and incredibly rich web of collaborative interdependence we call Life."

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Excellent article on biomimicry in Triple Pundit blog.

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Allô, la Banque mondiale ? Comment faites-vous la croissance verte ?

Allô, la Banque mondiale ? Comment faites-vous la croissance verte ? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Dans le cadre de la préparation de Rio+20, la Banque mondiale et l’OCDE notamment rivalisent d’imagination pour donner un prix à la nature, non pas tant pour mieux la préserver que pour la réduire à un capital comme un autre qu’il s’agira de rentabiliser. Valeur économique des écosystèmes et valeur économique des services que rendent ceux-ci sont devenues les leitmotivs de la recherche dans les cercles néolibéraux. Des valeurs que seul l’établissement de droits de propriété sur ce qui devrait être des biens communs, collectifs et publics[13] peut révéler. Allô, la Banque mondiale, vous êtes toujours là ? Non, ils ont raccroché."

 

Excellent critical analysis of the latest World Bank Report "Inclusive Green Growth"

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La croissance verte selon l’OCDE : la pensée unique du capitalisme vert

La croissance verte selon l’OCDE : la pensée unique du capitalisme vert | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Excellent critical analysis by French economist Jean Gadrey of the 2011OECD report "Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress - OECD Indicators".

 

"Ce qui est mis en avant c’est la poursuite de la croissance à l’infini, en y intégrant la nature comme nouveau grand facteur de production (ce qui est le cas depuis toujours, mais on vise à monter d’un cran dans son exploitation productive) et comme champ d’investissement prioritaire d’un capitalisme vert ou verdi."

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Does the planet have time to wait for austerity to end?

Does the planet have time to wait for austerity to end? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Environmental activism suffers in a recession – but this time our planet's ecosystems may not have time to wait for a recovery..." 

 

And what if there will be no recovery? What if we have entered the post-growth age? Maybe the planet needs a strong global austerity policy but one which is socially just (= wealth redistribution) and ecologically sustainable.

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The facts are clear: Report finds EU can deliver more jobs in a green budget

The facts are clear: Report finds EU can deliver more jobs in a green budget | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Greening the EU's long-term budget can create more jobs than following the traditional spending paths according to a new report published by an alliance of environmental NGOs.

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Green economy and growth: Fiddling while Rome burns?

A UNU-IAS fellow argues that a truly green economy cannot hinge solely on technology but must be a revolution of democracy and equality.

 

Great analysis of the weakness of ideas for green growth and green economy.

 

"Efficiency is a necessary but insufficient condition today, when the imperative is to find sufficiency in a finite and deeply inequitable world."

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The Green Economy – which way to look in 2012

The Green Economy – which way to look in 2012 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Re-engineering our transport, energy, food systems and building stock for a low carbon future could provide a much needed economic boost, says Andrew Simms...

 

Good article by Andrew Simms in the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog. Out of the ashes of 2012, the Phoenix will rise, slowly but surely.

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Belgian government abolishes green policies

Belgium seems well on its way to get a new government after more than 530 days. One of its first policies will be to abolish most of the measures that were introduced in the past to green its economy and put Belgium on a more sustainable track.

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Small is beautiful … but Schumacher's economics of scale runs deeper

Small is beautiful … but Schumacher's economics of scale runs deeper | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Andrew Simms: The Big Ideas: EF Schumacher was interested in appropriateness of scale, not smallness – a challenge the 'too big to fail' banks should heed..."


The Guardian has this excellent article by New Economics Foundations's Andrew Simms on the relevance of EF Schumacher for our current economic and sustainability crises.

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The false gospel of green marketing

The false gospel of green marketing | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The companies that are the heaviest resource depleters are often the first to declare how 'sustainable' their practices are...
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The US political circus about the debt ceiling

The US political circus about the debt ceiling | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Richard Heinberg has an excellent analysis of the "fools on the hill" and their fight to solve the American debt crisis. In a post-growth economy we will need "radical adjustments to our economy are required—even more radical than a sovereign debt default. We’re going to have to rethink the economy’s goal (up to now its goal has been simply to grow). We’re going to have to engage in an honest national discussion about how much inequality is socially sustainable in a shrinking economy."
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