Building the Big Picture for a Green Economy - UNEP Perspectives No. 9

United Nations Environment Programme (2013)

This is the story of building a practical vision for the future, one that is described by a common language and defined by a shared set of priorities. That vision is for a green, fair economy that helps to lift people out of poverty, reverses the destruction of our ecosystems and provides everyone with the same opportunities. Building a common vision requires bringing different world views together. One world is perhaps best exemplified by the World Economic Forum, which meets every year in Davos, and brings together the economic elite. It is exclusive, expensive and it is where power resides. The other world is epitomised by the World Social Forum, which changes location each year, and provides a space for activists and civil society to debate alternative solutions to our global challenges. Rio+20 offered an opportunity to bring these two worlds into contact with each other through the language of a Green Economy. For too long, sustainable development has existed on the fringe of political and business discourse, while mainstream agendas have been dominated by GDP growth and profit margins. The Green Economy discussions created by Rio+20 have been a chance for civil society to reclaim the language of economics and redefine the meaning of a healthy and successful economy. The Green Economy Coalition and its global network have started to draft a new social contract for our economies. Our mission now is to bring that contract into the treasuries, boardrooms and newsrooms the world over. Here, the Green Economy Coalition1 takes a look back at what brought us together, what continues to drive us forward, and where we want to arrive next.

Perspectives Publications