Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Kees van der Pijl
Chapter 28: Strategies of a Green Economy, contours of a Green Capitalism
In recent years, a re-politicization of the ecological crisis has taken place in the Global North. The chief actors in this process are not primarily social movements, but state apparatuses, scientific institutions and private companies. Certainly their various initiatives are being undertaken on the ground prepared by the arguments of the social movements. Yet they are also moving the goalposts by concentrating on warnings of a scarcity of resources and ‘sinks’ (the systems that absorb a quantity of a particular pollutant larger than they discharge into their environment themselves, such as forests and oceans in the case of CO2). It is in response to those scarcities that new economic opportunities are being discovered: electric mobility, agro-fuels and other renewable energy sources, all promising fields for business. This is not just a matter of environmental policy, or the growth of an eco-industry. Far from representing an isolated sub-section of society, the re-politicization of the ecological crisis reveals a comprehensive quest to reorient the existing production and consumption patterns in their entirety, in the context of a transformation towards a Green Economy.
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