Table of Contents

Handbook of Sustainable Development

Handbook of Sustainable Development

Second Edition

Edited by Giles Atkinson, Simon Dietz, Eric Neumayer and Matthew Agarwala

This timely and important Handbook takes stock of progress made in our understanding of what sustainable development actually is and how it can be measured and achieved.

Chapter 15: Green growth

Alex Bowen

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental geography, valuation


‘Green growth’ has become a very popular term among economic policy-makers around the world. Although the term has been in use at least since 1989 (see Colby, 1989), it has now become a central plank in advice to governments. In the advanced industrial nations, the OECD, for example, has developed a ‘green growth’ strategy encapsulated in a report entitled Towards Green Growth (OECD, 2011). Some emerging-market economies have been at the forefront of this movement, with the Republic of Korea in particular organizing its economic recovery efforts around a green growth strategy announced in June 2009 and advocating the approach in international forums. The concept has been adopted among development agencies as well. The World Bank published Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development in May 2012 and has set up a ‘Green Growth Knowledge Platform’ in collaboration with the OECD, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and a new international organization, the Global Green Growth Institute. UNEP, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), has argued that green growth strategies can help economies and societies become more resilient and has emphasized the importance of such strategies in its 2008 Green Economy Initiative (UN-ESCAP/ADB/UNEP, 2012; UNEP, 2011).

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