Necessary Prerequisites for Successful Green Economic Transition and Subsequent Green Development: An Exploratory Analysis and Appraisal

Necessary Prerequisites for Successful Green Economic Transition and Subsequent Green Development: An Exploratory Analysis and Appraisal

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University Center for Economic and Managerial Sciences, University of Guadalajara, Mexico) and Ian Warner (Kibi International University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPPPHCE.2020070103
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Given the increasingly urgent need to permanently forestall global climate catastrophe, there is a vital requirement for an adequately successful one-off transition to an authentic green economy. While concepts like ‘green economic transition' and ‘green economy' are clear in themselves, the policies they denote are frequently insufficiently delineated. What will successful green economic transition to a bonafide green economy, conducted under the auspices of a well-enough designed and administered ‘Green New Deal' actually necessitate, and how can this revolutionary transformation be achieved under presumably sub-optimal economic and political conditions? This exploratory analysis provides clear answers. Emphasizing the ambitious, multifaceted nature and huge scope, scale, and complexity of national economy-greening and green economy management initiatives, it stresses the longer-term economic, social, and political commitments that such paradigm-shifting undertakings appear to require if they really are to avert climate cataclysm and deliver sufficient sustainable green growth.
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The green economy has been criticized for lacking substance and thus being little or nothing more than a wonderful slogan which does therefore does not lead us closer to the point where climate-protective actions can be sensibly designed, implemented and thereafter benefitted from (Schmalensee 2012). The Green Economy is widely viewed and criticized for amounting, fundamentally, to little more than an ‘idealist’ even ‘utopian’ paradigm shifting concept that actual policy makers - rhetoric and pretences aside - have yet to treat seriously. However, the development and implementation of what are unquestionably urgently needed, greener development pathway plans could certainly have transformative effects on the reduction of emissions and the use of natural resources, assuming that they are seriously and carefully considered and planned beforehand. Less environmentally destructive economic thought and practices are unquestionably relevant to the ongoing debates that focus on how to simultaneously safeguard, maximize and optimize economic growth, social justice and environmental sustainability. The concept of sound and viable phased transition into a stable and effective green economy paradigm must, by definition, amount to and constitute a framework that encompasses all economic activities deemed likely to affect sustainable development. Its viability would, without doubt, depend very heavily or entirely on the degree to which it is funded and otherwise supported, promoted, defended and coordinated by local, regional and national government, and accepted or at least tolerated by highest level private sector investors and managers, civil society, and the mass public.

In terms of implementation, a serious green economy concept can only be dependent for its viability and thus validity on the degree which it can plausibly adequately envisage and describe a realistic economic model that nevertheless that has the clear capacity to meet valid human needs on the one hand and green environment and climate goals on the other. It must therefore undoubtedly propose low carbon based future development and growth in order to simultaneously ensure the realization of long term environmental sustainability, social equity and protection, and economic efficiency. The green economy is viewed by its architects and advocates as being a means and enabler of responsible development and is best conceived of as a balancing mechanism that, when successful, sensibly adjudicates between the twin vital needs of modern human population: namely the crucial needs of the advanced and increasingly transnationalized industrialized economy and those of the environment. As such, it is intended to supersede and replace ultimately unsustainable and thus no longer feasible or acceptable policy regimes that only did the former (often rather sub-optimally), not both. From this perspective, green economy plans must strive persuasively to show skeptical audiences how they will at once improve human well-being, lessen social and economic inequality, and reduce environmental risks and ecological challenges. A green economy transition thus requires environmentally friendly, sensitive policies that permit the preservation of natural resources, produce more ecosystem services and products and reduce the emissions and pollutants that have, for so long, been ensuring progressively more serious, and increasingly easy to identify climate change propelled environmental crisis.

The transition to a markedly greener economy must have, as its chief environmental priority the aim to restore, preserve and enhance ecosystems and promote natural resource usage efficiency and, by these means facilitate, initiate, drive and support a major shift to a low-carbon, climate-friendly new economic order in the mid.-term future. The development of valid green transition economic policy depends on the capacity and willingness of government of all types and levels to design, implement and thereafter effectively and efficiently operate, oversee and maintain sustainable eco-system programs. It is thus vital, above all in democratic policies, for large-scale green economy ecosystem protection initiatives to win and retain, to a hegemonic degree, stakeholder acceptance and participation, since any such program almost certainly requires extremely large-scale support if it is to succeed.

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