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Beyond Rio+20:
Governance for a
Green Economy
PARDEE CENTER TASK FORCE REPORT / March 2011
Beyond Rio+20:
Governance for a Green Economy
Co-conveners
Henrik Selin
Adil Najam
Task Force Members
Tom Bigg
Elizabeth DeSombre
Mark Halle
Hans Hoogeveen
Saleemul Huq
Bernice Lee
David Levy
Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
Stacy VanDeever
Patrick Verkooijen
Paul Wapner
ii
Occasionally, the Pardee Center convenes groups of experts on specific policy questions
to identify viable policy options for the longer-range future. This series of papers,
Pardee Center Task Force Reports, presents the findings of these deliberations as
a contribution of expert knowledge to discussions about important issues for which
decisions made today will influence longer-range human development.
Series Editor: Professor Adil Najam
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston
University convenes and conducts interdisciplinary, policy-relevant, and future-oriented
research that can contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition. Through
its programs of research, publications, and events, the Pardee Center seeks to identify,
anticipate, and enhance the long-term potential for human progress, in all its various
dimensions.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
Boston University
Pardee House
67 Bay State Road
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Tel: 617-358-4000 Fax: 617-358-4001
www.bu.edu/pardee
Email: pardee@bu.edu
Cover photograph via iStock.com.
The views expressed in this paper represent those of the individual authors and do not
necessarily represent the views of their home institutions, the Frederick S. Pardee Center
for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, or the Trustees of Boston University. The publica-
tions produced by the Pardee Center present a wide range of perspectives with the intent of
fostering well-informed dialogue on policies and issues critical to human development and
the longer-range future.
Produced by Boston University Creative Services
© 2011 Trustees of Boston University
ISBN 978-0-9825683-8-5
E Printed on recycled paper
0311 055712
iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
iv Acronyms and Abbreviations
v Preface by Adil Najam
Co-conveners’ Synthesis
Making Sustainable Development Real:
Institutional Architectures for a Green Economy
by Adil Najam and Henrik Selin
1. Global Environmental Governance
for a New Green Economy ................................................................ 11
by Elizabeth R. DeSombre
2. Accountability in the Green Economy .......................................... 19
by Mark Halle
3. Development Governance and the Green Economy:
A Matter of Life and Death? .............................................................. 25
by Tom Bigg
4. Governance of International Trade for the Green Economy ..... 33
by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
5. Consuming Environments:
Options and Choices for 21st Century Citizens........................... 43
by Stacy D. VanDeveer
6. Managing the Challenges of Interlocking Resources ................ 53
by Bernice Lee
7. Climate and Energy............................................................................. 61
by Saleemul Huq
8. Transforming Global Forest Governance ...................................... 69
by Hans Hoogeveen and Patrick Verkooijen
9. Transitioning to a Green Economy:
Citizens and Civil Society .................................................................. 77
by Paul Wapner
10. Private Sector Governance for a Sustainable Economy:
A Strategic Approach .......................................................................... 83
by David Levy
Task Force Members ........................................................................... 91
iv
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
A4T: Aid-for-Trade
BASIC: Brazil, South Africa, India, and China
BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, and China
CBD: Convention on Biological Diversity
CCSR: Civilian Corps Service Responsibility
CDP: Carbon Disclosure Project
CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
CRC: Corporate Responsibility Charter
CSD: Commission on Sustainable Development
EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GDP: Gross Domestic Product
GEF: Global Environment Facility
GFG: Global Forest Governance
GRI: Global Reporting Initiative
IEA: International Energy Agency
IMF: International Monetary Fund
IRENA: International Renewable Energy Agency
NGOs: Non-governmental organizations
ODA: Overseas Development Assistance
OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
REMs: Rare earth metals
SEC: Securities and Exchange Commission
UNCED: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNCSD: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization
WTO: World Trade Organization
v
Preface
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy is the second in The Pardee
Center Task Force Reports series, and, as it happens, the timing for this report
could not have been better. Recent and upcoming international meetings
convened by the United Nations are focused on the challenges of actualizing
the promise of sustainable development, of recreating a world economy that is
“greener” and more sustainable, and identifying institutional frameworks that
could help achieve this vision. Marking the 20th anniversary of the historic Rio
Earth Summit of 1992, the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development
(UNCSD)—popularly called Rio+20—has set for itself the goal of deliberating
upon and designing such an architecture. This Pardee Center Task Force Report
is a contribution to these deliberations.
We hope that the ideas presented in this Pardee Center Task Force Report will pro-
vide international decision-makers at the United Nations and elsewhere a fresh and
diverse set of perspectives concerning the ongoing quest for institutional and gover-
nance frameworks that can help foster sustainable development globally. Between
now and Rio+20, this very topic will be debated many times and in many venues.
We hope that our early attempt to synthesize some of the lessons from the past
debates and to present some fresh suggestions for future directions will help inspire
and inform the important decisions that will be made in the next many months.
The Pardee Center invited an eminent group of thought-leaders from academia,
civil society, and the diplomacy arena to think about why we face the institutional
challenges we do and about the type of bold actions and ideas that may move us
towards an institutional framework that is more conducive to fostering sustain-
able development. This report presents the results of these deliberations. This
Pardee Center Task Force was convened by Professor Henrik Selin and myself.
The membership of the Task Force was purposely interdisciplinary, international,
and intersectoral. All members of the Pardee Center Task Force met at Pardee
House on September 10, 2010, where initial drafts of their essays were presented
and discussed. The group also deliberated upon the overall trends and findings
emerging from the discussions and this became the basis of the synthesis from
the Task Force co-conveners. In addition to the co-conveners’ synthesis of the key
ideas emerging from the meeting, this report also includes the thought-provoking
essays written by each of the experts on the Pardee Center Task Force on different
aspects of the challenge. Between them, these expert essays capture a rich and
refreshing diversity of perspectives that we hope policymakers will find useful.
vi
The mission of the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study
of the Longer-Range Future is to convene and conduct interdisciplinary, policy-
relevant, and future-oriented research that can contribute to long-term improve-
ments in the human condition. As part of fulfilling its mandate, the Pardee
Center occasionally convenes groups of experts on pertinent policy issues with
longer-range impacts. The Pardee Center Task Force Reports present the findings
and deliberations of these groups in a format designed to speak to the concerns
of policy practitioners and policy scholars. The views expressed in these reports
are always those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of
their home institutions, of the Pardee Center, or of Boston University.
This Pardee Center Task Force Report is just one of several ways the Pardee
Center is contributing to the deliberations on Rio+20 in particular, and global
governance in general. The Center also publishes the Sustainable Development
Insight series of policy briefs on behalf of the Sustainable Development Knowl-
edge Partnership (SDKP) with the United Nations, and has provided a series of
expert consultations at recent meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable
Development (CSD) on topics related to Rio+20 preparations.
As co-conveners, Professor Henrik Selin and I are deeply grateful to all the mem-
bers of the Task Force for the time, enthusiasm, and effort they have devoted
to this report, producing an excellent document on a complex set of issues in a
short period of time. We would like to especially thank Professor Maria Ivanova
of the University of Massachusetts at Boston for her participation in part of the
Task Force meeting and sharing her insightful perspectives and expertise. We
would also like to thank Cynthia Barakatt and Ellie Perkins for assisting with the
editing and publication of this report, and Elaine Teng for helping organize the
Task Force meeting. As Director of the Pardee Center, I would like to express my
special gratitude to my colleague Henrik Selin for helping conceive and imple-
ment the idea of this Pardee Center Task Force. His patient yet persistent leader-
ship of this effort was crucial to bringing it to completion.
Let me end by congratulating all the Task Force members for having produced a
timely and intellectually stimulating report. I am certain this report will contribute
significantly to the deliberations going into Rio+20, and I hope that it will also have
impacts well beyond that.
Adil Najam
The Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy
Director, The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
Boston University
1
Co-conveners’ Synthesis

Making Sustainable Development Real:
Institutional Architectures for a Green Economy
Adil Najam and Henrik Selin
On December 24, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolu-
tion A/RES/64/236 to organize the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The General Assembly identi-
fied two themes of focus for the conference: First, “a green economy within the
context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”; and second, “an
institutional framework for sustainable development.”
1
As in all UN processes,
both themes were extensively—maybe excessively—negotiated and capture a
measure of intentional ambiguity and breadth to satisfy a very broad range of
(sometimes contradicting and conflicting) viewpoints and interests. The com-
prehensive preparations for the UNCSD are currently under way, involving a
multitude of governments and stakeholders.
UNCSD will be one in a series of UN conferences that aim to focus global politi-
cal attention towards the need for policy interventions in the areas of environ-
ment and development, now commonly called sustainable development. Mark-
ing the 20th anniversary of the landmark “Rio Earth Summit” of 1992 (the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro)—
which itself marked the 20th anniversary of the equally landmark Stockholm
conference of 1972 (the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,
held in Stockholm, Sweden)—the upcoming conference is being popularly
referred to as “Rio+20.” This title embodies the hope that UNCSD will attract the
same attention and import as its two illustrious predecessors. Yet, other confer-
ences with similar goals—for example, the less distinguished 2002 conference in
Johannesburg dubbed “Rio+10” (the World Summit on Sustainable Development)
or the now largely-forgotten “Stockholm+10” held in 1982 in Nairobi, Kenya—did
not live up to their own aspirations.
2
UNCSD will seek to build on a wide range of past political and organizational
achievements, but also, more importantly, seek to accelerate progress where a long
2 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
line of earlier international efforts have come up well short. This is not just an exer-
cise in politics, but of critical importance to people and societies all over the world
as well as future generations. The two themes were selected by the United Nations
General Assembly precisely because they are viewed as areas where (a) there is a
need for global clarity and agreement and (b) there is a perceived potential for real
change if, indeed, further clarity and agreement are achieved.
Those attending UNCSD—which is technically not yet called a “summit” with
heads of state and government in attendance, but is likely to become one—will
seek to arrive at global agreement and decisions within the conceptual frame-
work of sustainable development. In fact, that is already baked into the name of
the conference. Indeed, from the 1992 Earth Summit onwards, the entire global
conversation has revolved around the desire to put meaning into the term “sus-
tainable development.” If those government delegates and stakeholder represen-
tatives who go to Rio in 2012 can succeed in constructing a global new deal for
sustainable development, their time and effort will be well spent and Rio+20 will
be remembered in the same breath and with the same reverence as the 1992
Earth Summit and the 1972 Stockholm meeting.
3

THE PARDEE CENTER GREEN ECONOMY TASK FORCE
As an intellectual contribution to the Rio+20 preparatory process and UNCSD,
the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-
Range Future convened a small task force of experts to discuss the role of
institutions in the actualization of a green economy in the context of sustainable
development. As co-conveners of this group, we brought together stellar experts
from academia, government, and civil society and asked them to outline ideas
about what the world has learned about institutions for sustainable development
from the past, and what we can propose about the governance challenges and
opportunities for the continuous development of a green economy in the future.
Members of the Pardee Center Task Force met at Boston University on Sep-
tember 10, 2010, to discuss the first drafts of the papers collected in this report
and to deliberate on the trends in governance and institutional frameworks that
might inform and influence the decisions to be made at Rio+20 and beyond. Task
Force Members included: Dr. Tom Bigg (International Institute for Environment
and Development), Prof. Elizabeth DeSombre (Wellesley College), Mark Halle
(International Institute for Sustainable Development), Dr. Hans Hoogeveen
(Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality), Dr. Saleemul Huq
(International Center for Climate Change and Development), Bernice Lee
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 3
(Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs), Prof. David Levy
(University of Massachusetts at Boston), Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz (International
Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development), Prof. Adil Najam (Pardee Center,
Boston University), Prof. Henrik Selin (Pardee Center, Boston University), Prof.
Stacy D. VanDeveer (University of New Hampshire), Dr. Patrick Verkooijen (World
Bank), and Prof. Paul Wapner (American University).
The Task Force members were encouraged to think big and think bold. We
asked them to be innovative in their ideas, and maybe even a little irreverent
and provocative. We have not tried to force a consensus; far from it, we have
encouraged a variety and diversity of views. Nor was the idea to define a set of
precise “recommendations”; that, after all, is the work of the preparatory negotia-
tors between now and 2012. Rather, we set the goal of identifying broad themes
and trends in the area of global governance and institutional frameworks for
sustainable development and the actualization of a green economy. We placed
a premium on “newness” of ideas. Instead of shackling Task Force members in
repetitive debates on the minutia of what may or may not be done by or to a
particular UN agency, or what a green economy is, or how the existing system
can be tweaked at its periphery, we asked them to identify key lessons that have
the greatest potential to trigger bold and systemic change—not just at Rio+20, but
beyond that. We asked them to consider trends and ideas that match the scale of
the challenges that the planet faces today.
We realize that the political will for implementing some of the ideas presented in
this report may not yet be available. We also realize that many of these ideas are
bold, but not necessarily new. But our goal here is to lay out a big picture view for
Rio+20 negotiators and to articulate bold visions of the global ambition that they
should be addressing. Converting this into a set of practical policies and specific
measures is a next step for the international community. We hope that this contri-
bution from the Pardee Center Task Force can be of assistance in this endeavor.
This opening chapter provides our (the Task Force co-conveners’) synthesis of the
discussion at the Task Force meeting and outlines our understanding of the key
ideas and insights that emerged from those deliberations. There was no attempt
to force a negotiated consensus on these points and they are our interpretation
of the intense, informed, and far-reaching discussion.
To capture a more detailed sense of the very rich ideas brought to the table by
the Task Force members, included in this report are each of their “think pieces.”
4 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
These essays—which look at critical dimensions of transitioning to and eventu-
ally maintaining a green economy in a world of sustainable development—
informed the Task Force discussion and should be read as important comple-
ments to the views presented in this introductory chapter.
FIVE+1 SUGGESTIONS FOR RIO+20
Building on the papers collected in this report, and even more on the enriching
discussion at the September meeting, we have synthesized five+1 ideas that
Rio+20 negotiators should keep in mind. These are big and somewhat general-
ized ideas, but they all have significant implications and can—and should—
inform the more specific policies and programs that might emerge from Rio+20.
One. Think boldly and move incrementally. Discussions of institutional reform
have sometimes been described as an exercise in “rearranging the deck chairs
on the Titanic.”
4
Any institutional reform process must begin with a recognition
of the urgency for action. It must also begin with a commitment to the proposi-
tion that we need fundamental shifts in our political and economic practices if
we are to avoid significantly accelerated ecological damage with disastrous con-
sequences (already experienced by many) for people and societies. The enormity
of the challenge calls for bold thinking, but it should not paralyze action just
because big change is often difficult to achieve quickly.
There is a need, instead, for what some participants called a strategy of “radi-
cal incrementalism”—recognizing and strengthening those elements within the
existing institutional architecture that work, identifying the strategic direction
of change, and implementing measured and pragmatic shifts that can begin
moving the system in that direction. Progressively evaluating the implementa-
tion and progress of such measures and carefully adding to them to bring about
the desired shifts is an important component of this process. One example of
this would be to break the deadlock that often arises when we search for a single
“perfect” solution by the adoption of a “portfolio approach” that uses a combina-
tion of initiatives to raise a variety of resources including monetary resources,
knowledge resources, capacity development, public support, and awareness-
raising for effective global action on forests.
Another example of the benefits of radical incrementalism would be the much-
stalled debates on creating a new international environmental organization mod-
eled at least in part on the World Trade Organization. The debate has not only
remained inconclusive but regularly saps energy away from the needed reform
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 5
with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)—especially in terms
of strengthening its funding arrangements and consolidating various treaty sec-
retariats—for which there is great and urgent need and on which there is much
international agreement. The idea that Rio+20 should lead to a stronger, and not
a weaker, UNEP is already broadly accepted and should not be held hostage to
the debate about the designs of a superorganization for the environment. The
benefits of a radical incrementalism approach should not be lost in the debate
on institutional reform.
Two. Take economic policy seriously. The proposition that the world needs to
move towards a “green” economy implies that the economy we have is not working,
at least not for the environment and future generations.
5
Change is required, there-
fore, in economic policy institutions as much as in environmental ones. A genuine
transition to a green economy
needs to involve fundamental
changes to both macro-eco-
nomic and micro-economic
conditions—and, therefore,
institutions. Business as usual
with respect to economic
policy is not a viable alterna-
tive to meet the challenges of
the future. The fact that recent economic upheavals have left the global economy
in a state of flux is a massive challenge but can also be an opportunity in that the
perceived need—and possibly the appetite—for change is more widely accepted.
The most obvious case for a shift towards a green economy is in macro-
economic policy instruments relating to structures and principles for international
trade and finance issues. For example, the role of trade in resources—espe-
cially in energy-related resources and also including the security implications
of resource trade—is central to a green economy. Any shift in this area will
require carefully crafted incentives to align international markets simultane-
ously towards environmental and resource goals. At the micro-economic level,
the institutional challenge is to create individual incentives (including negative
ones) to realign consumption and production decisions that can have significant
environmental and economic ramifications.
A central challenge for Rio+20, therefore, is not only to think creatively about
economic policy but to engage international economic institutions to do so. While
The proposition that the world needs to
move towards a “green” economy implies
that the economy we have is not working,
at least not for the environment and future
generations. Change is required, therefore,
in economic policy institutions as much as
in environmental ones.
6 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
the necessity of such engagement is now understood by environmental as well as
economic decision-makers, making it real will not be easy because the incentives
for such engagement do not yet exist. The same economic crisis that makes the
case for change in economic institutions also makes such change more difficult to
undertake. Rio+20 creates an opportunity to bring environmental and economic
institutions together at a common platform where world leaders—to whom both
sets of institutions are ultimately responsible—can lay out a program for such
collaboration and begin removing the current disincentives for cooperation. A
good goal for Rio+20 would be to at least begin the realignment of institutional
incentives to facilitate the achievement of a goal that was already agreed upon at
the 1992 Rio Earth Summit but has not yet been achieved: making environmental
considerations central to our global economic decision-making.
Three. Recognize what is working and what is not working. There is no need
to re-invent the wheel. There are already a number of public and private sector
initiatives and partnerships that seek to promote a transition to a green economy
world. At the same time, current organizations, policies, and practices must be
subject to critical evaluation and changed if they stand in the way of the realiza-
tion of a green economy. Furthermore, activities and regulations across organiza-
tions, states, and issue areas must be coordinated. Policy goals should be formu-
lated clearly and followed by monitoring and reporting (related to discussions
about targets and timetables). There should be actual consequences for failing to
meet agreed-upon goals and targets.
The desire to fundamentally redesign things, to create new institutions without
first thinking about what will happen to old ones, and to simply assume that
the problems that have plagued institutions in the past will somehow disappear
in the future remains as prevalent as it is misguided. Rio+20 negotiators will be
well-advised to resist the temptation. For example, the period right before and
right after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit was extremely productive in the negotia-
tion of new instruments to deal with emerging problems. There is now a variety
of such instruments available for a range of pressing issues, including a variety of
financial mechanisms (although many have few or no resources). The challenge
now is no longer of creating new instruments, but of making the existing ones
effective and functional.
This is particularly relevant to the question of international environmental gov-
ernance. We feel that a more fruitful discourse for Rio+20 would be to meaning-
fully enhance the efficacy of the main elements of the system of international
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 7
environmental governance as it now exists. For example, we believe that there is
a need to (a) focus on strengthening UNEP—especially in terms of giving it finan-
cial stability, authority, and dependability—so that it can effectively deal with
the responsibilities that member states have been piling upon it; (b) return to the
original design mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
and make it a review mechanism for progress towards sustainable development;
and (c) accelerate the process of rationalization of multilateral environmental
agreements (MEAs) through consolidation and better linkages.
Four. Make implementation the focus. The period right before and after both
the 1972 Stockholm conference and the 1992 Rio Earth Summit saw a frenzy of
new international treaty-making and institution-building for the environment.
6

As already mentioned, that has now given us a rich ediface of institutions and
instruments that will be central to creating and managing a green economy.
However, the system as it has evolved remains focused on negotiation rather
than on implementation. A functional green economy will require that societies
shift their attention much more towards implementation. Rio+20 provides an
ideal opportunity to accelerate this transition. There has been growing restless-
ness amongst industrialized and developing countries alike—although for dif-
ferent reasons—to make implementation a more central focus, and UNCSD can
become the marker that signifies this shift in attention.
A global green economy will necessitate an emphasis on implementation and
on implementation coordination. Such a focus involves at least two important
changes. First, it will require better incorporating public, private, and civil
society actors who are closer to implementation, including at the national and
sub-national levels. This will require multilevel governance from major intergov-
ernmental forums down to town halls and households. The subsidiarity principle
should guide policy and management efforts, dealing with each issue at the
lowest, most appropriate level to bring decision-making as close as possible
to each citizen. Second, implementation requires evaluation, monitoring, and
accountability. At each level, accountability issues are crucial to ensure change
and implementation. This includes thinking hard and carefully about what kind
of accountability mechanisms are needed and how they may be established.
To this end, a host of scientific, economic, and political information needs to be
generated and shared in an open and transparent manner.
7
Five. The state remains central but non-state actors have to be better
accommodated. A focus on green economic issues highlights the importance
8 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
of markets and consumers to both ecology and politics. However, governments
remain—and will remain—central to this enterprise. There is a tendency (often
by those outside of governments) to downplay the importance of states; there is
also a tendency (often amongst those within governments) to push the much of
the responsibility for action and change on to non-state institutions. Both tenden-
cies should be rejected.
While the members of this Task Force have highlighted—and celebrated—the
importance of broadening the institutional tent and incorporating market as well
as citizen institutions more effectively into the global governance enterprise, we
remain emphatic on the continuing centrality of the state. The model here is not
as much of state responsibility being “replaced” or “taken over” by other institu-
tions; it is, instead, state responsibility evolving to (a) become an enabler of more
and better action by non-state actors and (b) develop the ability to work in con-
cert with non-state institutions. Both are already happening and Rio+20 should
be structured as a forum to demonstrate this evolution. As the 1972 Stockholm
conference and the 1992 Earth Summit are remembered for the breakthroughs
they made in accommodating ever-larger numbers of civil society organizations
into the global discourse, Rio+20 should set for itself the goal of developing and
deploying new and expanded ways of making the engagement with citizen and
market groups deeper and more directly related to the implementation chal-
lenges.
Just as the state has to learn how to create a space where markets and citizens
can spur institutional innovation at a planetary scale, it also has to retain and
assert its role as rule-setter and enforcer. This is already evident in the area of cli-
mate change and the creation of carbon markets—markets that can neither oper-
ate nor be created independent of state action—and will become increasingly
important in the management and greening of natural resource supply chains.
As these market instruments may become defined more and more by national
security concerns, the importance of the state will increase—not diminish—in the
evolving institutional needs of the planet.
And all of the above needs to be incorporated within the context of the realiza-
tion that the state itself has changed over time, and certainly the structure of
states that make up the international system has. No single bloc of countries
or region holds all the answers. But certainly compared to 1972 and 2002,
the North today is a little less “North” and the South a little less “South” than
before. As global power balances shift, as corporations as well as citizens and
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 9
their consumption become more global and more central to the global enter-
prise, international politics and policy are forced to confront new realities
about “North-South” differences. Neither is ready to wither away, but both have
evolved—as have the relations both have to the many non-state actors critical to
the realization of a green economy.
Five+1. Put equity at the center. Finally, and overarching and incorporating all
of the first five ideas, we make a concerted and strong argument that equity and
human well-being must be the central and unwavering goals of Rio+20. A green
economy and any institutions devised for it must make their core focus the well-
being of people—of all people,
everywhere—across present
and future generations. That
essential idea puts the notion
of equity—intra- as well as
inter-generational equity—
smack at the center of the
green economy enterprise. It
also brings to the fore the cen-
trality of consumption ques-
tions, not only among nations but within societies. It would be a folly to forget
that a green economy demands not just “green consumers” but “green citizens.”
The proximate goal in the creation of a green economy is the notion of making
the economy more ecologically efficient—meeting our economic needs without
compromising our ecological integrity. But the ultimate goal is to do so in a way
that the needs of all people—today, and in the future—can be met and sustained.
That, after all, is the central premise of sustainable development. Therefore, a
deep commitment to fairness and social justice is central to the green economy
transformation. Indeed, a key role of institutional frameworks required for a
green economy is to maintain a focus on equity. It is not just fitting, but neces-
sary that Rio+20 be a forum that helps ensure that the desire for ecological
efficiency complements, not displaces, the commitment to intra- and inter-
generational equity.
A FINAL WORD
Both the number of people who still live in abject poverty and the rapid increase
in the number of people who engage in high-consumption lifestyles raise crucial
challenges for change. Rio+20 delegates should seek to craft a global new deal
A green economy and any institutions
devised for it must make their core focus
the well-being of people—of all people, ev-
erywhere—across present and future gener-
ations. That essential idea puts the notion of
equity—intra- as well as inter-generational
equity—smack at the center of the green
economy enterprise.
10 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
for sustainable development; a deal that could finally help bridge the North-
South divide by tackling poverty as well as over-consumption, environmental
degradation as well as social justice, and greenness of the economy along with
sustainable livelihoods.
Many of the ideas presented in this synthesis and the subsequent papers are
not new per se. Versions of many green economy ideas have been debated for
decades, and will continue to be debated, as they should. However, as the prepa-
rations for the UNCSD continue, we hope that this report presents some ideas
whose time has come (again). It has been said many times before, but it will
hopefully inspire action this time: more aggressive policy change for sustainable
development and implementation is needed.
The following chapters detail many ideas and summarize a wealth of lessons
from the past as well as visions of the future. The above synthesis should not be
read as a summary of these ideas (in fact, it is not that at all), but as an invita-
tion to explore the rest of the report in more detail. We hope that the reader will
find these ideas as useful and stimulating as we have. Our Task Force views this
report as an early and initial contribution to the discussion on Rio+20, and we
remain committed to active participation in that dialogue. It is, after all, a discus-
sion about all our shared futures.
1 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/236, adopted 24 December 2009.
2 Najam, A. 2005. Developing Countries and Global Environmental Governance: From Contestation to Partici-
pation to Engagement. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 5(3): 303–321; Najam,
A. et al., 2002. From Rio to Johannesburg: Progress and Prospects. Environment, 44(7): 26–38; Linnér, B-O. and H.
Selin. 2005. The Road to Rio: Early Efforts on Environment and Development, in A. Churie Kallhauge, G. Sjöstedt,
and E. Correll (eds.) Global Challenges: Furthering the Multilateral Process for Sustainable Development. London:
Greenleaf Publishing.
3 Munoz, M. and A. Najam. 2009. Rio+10: Another World Summit. Sustainable Development Insights, No. 2,
November 2009. Boston Univeristy: The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.
4 Najam, A., M. Papa, and N. Taiyab. 2006. Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. Winnipeg,
Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
5 Najam, A., D. Runnalls, and M. Halle. 2007. Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions. Winnipeg, Canada:
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
6 Selin, H. and B-O. Linnér. 2005. The Quest for Global Sustainability: International Efforts on Linking Environ-
ment and Development. CID Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellow Working Paper No. 5. Cambridge, MA: Science,
Environment and Development Group, Center for International Development, Harvard University.
7 Najam, A. and M. Halle. 2010. Global Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Accountability. Sustainable
Development Insights, No. 5. Boston Univeristy: The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range
Future.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 11
1. Global Environmental Governance
for a New Green Economy
by Elizabeth R. DeSombre
What role will be required of global institutions in managing a new green
economy as it emerges (or in encouraging it to emerge) in the next 20 to 40
years? While there are many ways institutions could be structured to support a
new green economy, their primary role is likely to be a coordinating one. Citi-
zens and states need to determine what this green economy looks like; the main
role for institutions is to support its implementation. That coordination done by
institutions will involve both environmental regulation itself and the economic
adjustments necessary when the environmental regulation is incomplete.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION
The first role required of institutions is one they are already attempting to play:
coordination of the information, negotiation, and implementation related to
changing environmental behavior globally. As more environmental problems are
seen to be global in causes or effects, action by individual states is no longer a
realistic way to address them.
Despite the shortcomings
international institutions face
in operating in an anarchic
world where states can opt
out of participation—or,
perhaps, even because of these shortcomings—they play an invaluable role in
moving the world toward behavior changes necessary to mitigate the negative
human impact on the global environment.
Institutions, first, can play a central role in the generation and dissemination of
information. They can work to decrease uncertainty. Most environmental agree-
ments begin by creating scientific assessment bodies as a part of the institutional
structure of the agreement. These scientific committees study the resource in
question, determining the level and cause of environmental harm. Associated
As more environmental problems are seen
to be global in causes or effects, action by
individual states is no longer a realistic way
to address them.
12 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
requirements that states examine and report on their own behavior and envi-
ronmental conditions generate further information to use in evaluating a given
problem. The recent trend toward creating general framework conventions with-
out substantive obligations for states reflects situations in which policymakers
argue that there is insufficient evidence of environmental damage, or its human
causes, to justify costly action. In many issues, such as ozone depletion and acid
rain, the scientific processes in these institutions informed states that environ-
mental damage was more extensive than they realized, and states were willing
to change their behavior once they understood the severity of the environmental
problems.
The second primary role environmental institutions play is in coordinating the
negotiations in which states collectively decide what the response should be
to the global environmental problems in question. The process of negotiation
often involves tradeoffs in the search for mutually beneficial arrangements (or
determining least-common-denominator acceptability). State preferences may
be malleable, however, in light of new information or a reshaping of concerns of
states so that they become interested in an issue they had previously considered
unimportant. The role of international institutions in lowering the transaction
costs of conducting such discussions across many individual states should not be
underestimated, and a skilled leader of negotiations can help shape what states
are willing to agree to.
Finally, an essential role of international institutions is to increase the likelihood
that states will live up to their commitments to protect the environment. An
institution can do so by increasing transparency; in other words, by making it
easier for others to know when actors are, or are not, living up to their obliga-
tions. Reporting requirements, for example, make it easier to determine when
states are not doing what they have agreed to do. Increasingly intrusive types of
monitoring (such as mandating observers on fishing vessels) have recently been
created within existing institutions to overcome the potential unreliability of self-
reporting. The European agreements on acid rain include a monitoring process
that is able to evaluate the accuracy of emissions data reported by states, and
although it is not directly used to do so, the fact that it can be is likely to increase
reliability of reported information. Institutions can also increase the likelihood of
implementation by establishing penalties for those who do not follow the rules
set by the institution. Though strong enforcement mechanisms are rarely found in
international environmental institutions, the Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species has called for the cessation of all species trade with some
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 13
states, for example, with poor records of upholding the requirements of the agree-
ment. The possibility of such enforcement, or simply of the shaming that comes
from not upholding agreements, may work to increase implementation.
ECONOMIC COORDINATION IN RESPONSE TO GAPS IN REGULATION
The more interesting—because it is currently underdeveloped—coordinating role
that institutions will likely be called upon to play in a new green economy is to
manage the adjustments needed when global regulation is imperfectly imple-
mented. As is already evident, some states are more willing to move ahead at
implementing (or even agreeing to) environmental regulation than others. That
unevenness is perhaps necessary: those who regulate first can be the source of
innovation (which can make it easier for others to follow) or inspiration (espe-
cially if changing behavior does not have the dire economic consequences in the
long-term that its detractors predict) to encourage others to follow the same path.
Over the long run, adaptation to new ways of doing business that are better than
current practices for protecting the environment is unlikely to have dramatic
economic disadvantages at the state or global level. But in the short run there
are good reasons that changing behavior can be costly for those who do, and
potentially even devastating for some local businesses; this is particularly true if
the adoption of environmental rules is uneven across states.
The trick to encouraging some states to become early adopters of regulations
that protect the global (rather than just local, which they might be willing to
do on their own) environment is to decrease the global economic disadvantage
from doing so. Institutions can play an important role in coordinating accept-
able international responses
to the perceived inequity that
results from uneven adoption
of environmental measures.
This coordination can help
persuade more states to take
the risk of adopting envi-
ronmental measures, even when it is not clear that everyone will do so. And, it
can reduce the chaos triggered by the inevitable political responses that states
undertake when obligations are unevenly adopted.
There are at least two different ways that institutions can manage this coordi-
nation: via trade measures or financial measures. Trade measures require the
Institutions can play an important role
in coordinating acceptable international
responses to the perceived inequity that
results from uneven adoption of environ-
mental measures.
14 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
institutions that manage global or regional free trade to organize or acquiesce to
measures allowing states to discriminate against or impose countervailing duties
against products produced in cheap, environmentally harmful ways. Although
there are those who anticipate the impossibility of such approaches within the
current system of trade governance, there are actually several approaches that
might be compatible with underlying World Trade Organization (WTO) goals and
priorities, and indications that the evolution of WTO processes on these issues
would make such approaches increasingly possible.
The first trade approach is through the use of economic sanctions (restrictions
in trade). There is plenty of evidence that these sanctions can play an important
role in an environmental protection strategy. In some cases, domestic environ-
mental protection is enabled by the assurance to domestic industry that it will
not be disadvantaged by competition from those who do not have to undertake
costly environmental regulation. In other cases, states have been persuaded to
join international environmental agreements by the prohibition of trade advan-
tages to those outside of the agreement.
By some measures, the WTO has not looked kindly on efforts by states to
impose restrictions in trade based on the environmental conditions of produc-
tion. There have been several high-profile cases in which the WTO has rejected
such attempts. But the ways in which it has done so, and the statements the
WTO has made even in the cases where these measures have been rejected,
have laid the groundwork for the conditions of acceptable restrictions in trade
for environmental reasons.
1
Within its findings against these particular trade measures, the dispute settle-
ment process elaborates an increasing acceptance of environmental protection
as a legitimate reason for restricting trade, as long as restrictions on trade are
applied in a non-discriminatory way, are designed specifically for environmental
protection, and are accompanied by multilateral attempts to address the envi-
ronmental issue. More recent efforts to construct multilaterally based restrictions
on trade (such as the rules of the International Commission on the Conservation
of Atlantic Tuna that require member states only to land, transship, or import
tuna caught within the organization’s rules and similar ones undertaken by the
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) have
been deemed by the WTO Secretariat to “provide examples of appropriate and
WTO-consistent (i.e., non-discriminatory) use of trade measures in multilateral
environmental agreements.”
2
And in particular, the lack of any serious challenge
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 15
to multilateral organizations that use trade—in some cases, like with the Con-
vention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES) where trade restrictions are its core method of operation—suggests the
general acceptance of such strategies when undertaken in a multilateral context.
The second approach is through the use of countervailing duties, to be applied in
circumstances when states are subsidizing their goods or “dumping” products on
foreign markets at below-cost prices. It is possible to conceptualize production of
products in environmentally harmful ways as being produced with a subsidy (or,
in some cases, sold below what the cost would be were environmental standards
adopted), especially if there is a broader global institutional process, as discussed
in the first part of this essay, to create and oversee the regulation that some states
are not adopting.
Article 16 of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade indicates that states
must avoid granting any form of income or price support “which operates
directly or indirectly to increase exports of any product from . . . its territory.” The
agreement recognizes that granting such subsidies can harm other contracting
parties and “may hinder the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement.”
In particular, parties are required to cease granting such subsidies, directly or
indirectly, on products other than primary products, and to apply subsidies to
primary products only where doing so does not result in giving that party a
“more than equitable share of world export trade in that product.” Article Six
defines dumping as the process “by which products of one country are intro-
duced into the commerce of another country at less than the normal value of the
products” and disallows it.
Both of these articles refer to the price of the good. One measure of whether a
good is being dumped is whether it is being sold for less than the price being
paid for the good on in its domestic market. Subsidies are indirectly considered
as things that result “in the sale of such a product for export at a price lower than
the comparable price charged for the like product to buyers in the domestic mar-
ket.”
3
Neither of these definitions quite fits the situation when a state implicitly
subsidizes its industries by not internalizing the externalities of environmental
costs into production costs, but the other elements of the definition fit this pro-
cess well.
Article Six in particular suggests a way out of the current dilemma, by allowing
countervailing duties to be assessed on goods that are improperly subsidized, or
16 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
dumped. This type of duty is defined as a “special duty levied for the purpose of
offsetting any bounty or subsidy bestowed, directly, or indirectly, upon the manu-
facture, production or export of any merchandise.”
4
States are allowed to assess a
duty on these goods that is equal to the margin of dumping—the amount by which
its price is unfairly lowered. This application of a countervailing duty could be
sufficient as a domestic political incentive to assure those who will be bound when
a state undertakes environmental regulation on a global issue that they will not be
unfairly disadvantaged on the global market by having to meet what is likely to be
a more costly production process, initially, for whatever goods they produce.
Although either of these approaches could be applied unilaterally by states,
their orderly implementation would be dramatically improved by their over-
sight under the WTO system whereby unfair uses (or those simply designed as
restraints of trade) could be adjudicated.
The financial approach is much more complex, and has less of a current trajec-
tory to build on, but would be deeper and far-reaching. This approach recognizes
that the current ways a country’s wealth is calculated—such as by measuring
Gross Domestic Product—does not count environmental resources as a form of
wealth until they are being extracted or processed. In addition, environmental
disasters actually add to the official record of a state’s wealth by measuring, for
instance, the economic activity that takes place in response to a major oil spill
but not the damage to environmental resources that results. Although there are
major academic discussions
of environmental versions of
national accounting, it would
take agreement by the major
financial institutions (such as
the International Monetary
Fund and probably the World
Bank) to fundamentally
change the way we calculate
national wealth. Although it is difficult to imagine how such a change could hap-
pen, it could have a major effect on how states measure economic and environ-
mental well-being, and therefore on their willingness to take on measures that
protect the global environment.
If this kind of shift seems impossible or not useful, a related effort to at least
include valuation of natural resources in their unused state, and ecosystem
Although there are major academic discus-
sions of environmental versions of national
accounting, it would take agreement by
the major financial institutions (such as the
International Monetary Fund and probably
the World Bank) to fundamentally change
the way we calculate national wealth.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 17
services provided by these resources, should be used in global financial and
development institutions considering undertaking or funding projects. A shift in
the conceptualization of how natural resources are valued can help avoid proj-
ects that destroy or use resources without providing the same value to the local
or global economy as if they remain whole in their ecosystems.
MOVING FORWARD
The key to envisioning a green economy is to imagine the realistic steps to get
there. This paper outlines reasonable extensions of what existing institutions
are already doing that would collectively improve the global ability to address
environmental problems with international components. The collective action
required can be accomplished by a combination of information, negotiation,
and implementation assistance from global environmental institutions, as well
as coordination by global trade, finance, and development institutions, to allow
states to be the first to take positive action to protect the environment without
bearing an additional cost for their leadership.
1 DeSombre, E. R. and J. S. Barkin. 2002. Turtles and Trade: The WTO’s Acceptance of Environmental Trade
Restrictions. Global Environmental Politics 2(1): 12-18.
2 World Trade Organization (WTO). 2000. The Environmental Benefits of Removing Trade Restrictions and Distor-
tions: The Fisheries Sector, Note by the Secretariat. Geneva: WTO 16 October. WT/CTE/W/167.
3 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947: Article 16(B)(4).
4 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947: Article 6(3).
18 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 19
2. Accountability in the Green Economy
by Mark Halle
The opening assumption for this paper is that what is meant by “green econ-
omy”—as for example promoted by United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) and many others—is not merely a redecoration of the traditional economy
with green trimming, but a form of economic organization and priority-setting
substantially different from the one that has dominated economic thinking in
the richer countries for the past several decades. Indeed a green economy, thus
conceived, is more than a re-ordering of priorities; it involves a significant rethink-
ing of the assumptions upon which the traditional economy has been based.
1
If
we are to avoid slip-back towards the traditional economy, strong accountability
mechanisms will have to be built into the green economy from the start.
2
TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW
Although the ideas underlying it have been floating around for years, if not
decades, the green economy is being promoted—we hope accurately—as “the
next Big Thing.” As we gaze at the ruins of the neo-liberal economic paradigm,
it is eminently clear that something new is needed, but it is not always easy to
let go of the familiar. Neo-liberal thinking has possessed such a strangle-hold
on development since the days of Thatcher and Reagan and the articulation of
the “Washington Consensus”
3
that it was often considered to have the power of
a religion. This form of economic organization adopted by—or imposed upon—
countries around the world was deemed to be the only one that worked or had
a chance of meeting human aspirations within a framework of human freedom.
So powerful was this conviction among its proponents that some felt that it
represented “The End of History”
4
—that with neo-liberal economic organization,
humanity had emerged onto a sunny plateau on which efficient economic orga-
nization and the interplay of open markets would generate the wealth needed by
society to address whatever social and environmental issues rose in its margins.
A priority focus on generating wealth—a prerequisite for all good things—was
justified because it was the only sound way to generate the wherewithal to
address other, non-economic issues.
20 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
While neo-liberal economics had its share of critics, it held governments and
international financial institutions in thrall for decades. Its undeniable results
in generating wealth allowed it to secure the political power needed to fend off
criticism. And yet when the collapse came in 2008, the economies foundered
not because they were undermined by social unrest or overwhelmed by environ-
mental destruction—instead, the neo-liberal system collapsed under the weight
of its own economic contradictions. Far from permitting governments to address
social and environmental issues, the fabulous wealth generated through neo-
liberal economics led to strong pressure for a cut-back in government spend-
ing and services. Partly as a result, the gap widened between those benefitting
directly from the new wealth and those marginalized from it. And far from lead-
ing to a serene plateau on which sufficient wealth was available to address non-
monetary concerns, the new wealth led to an ever more frenetic effort to grow
even richer, increasingly through arcane financial instruments well-removed
from the real economy. Generating wealth became an end in itself.
In seeking a form of economic organization that avoids the mistakes of neo-
liberal economics, some things appear evident. We cannot divorce economics
from its social and economic underpinnings. On the contrary, we must organize
the economy in such a way that economic growth leads simultaneously to the
creation of employment and livelihoods, and to the gradual elimination of social
marginalization.
5
At the same time, it must lead us away from wasteful use of
the earth’s resources and ecosystems, from the depletion of species, and from air
and water pollution toward
clean, renewable, and sustain-
able forms of resource use.
6

These factors are so important
that economic initiatives
should be screened for their
likely impact on employment,
social inclusion and justice,
and for their environmental
footprint. Capacity to generate wealth, competitive efficiency and other tradi-
tional tests of economic activity should not be set aside; simply, these tests must
be augmented by new tests on the social and environmental side of the equation
to ensure that a triple win is being pursued and secured.
We cannot divorce economics from its
social and economic underpinnings. On the
contrary, we must organize the economy in
such a way that economic growth leads si-
multaneously to the creation of employment
and livelihoods, and to the gradual elimina-
tion of social marginalization.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 21
WHAT IS THE GREEN ECONOMY?
One could be forgiven for noting that this formula for a green economy strongly
resembles the descriptions of sustainable development that have been floating
around our society for a quarter century and gaining little more than intellectual
ground—what the French call “succès d’estime” (or “critical success”). Launched in
1987 by the Brundtland Commission report, calls to bring economic activity into
a framework bound by the limits of the earth’s ecosystems and to give priority to
social inclusion and poverty alleviation are now all too familiar. Would it not be
fair to say that the green economy is nothing more than a re-labeling of “sustain-
able development”?
In some ways it is. If sustainable development has not prevailed over the past
quarter century, neither has it been discredited. Indeed, the reasons for insist-
ing that development be placed on a sustainable foundation have been growing
steadily stronger, at least in objective terms. While opinions vary on which of
the three pillars—economic, social, and environmental—should be given greatest
attention, there can be no doubt that the traditional economy has collapsed in
part because it ignored the other two pillars to such an extent.
Therefore, a green economy is one that takes us toward sustainable develop-
ment. Once a green economy is fully in place, we might say that our form of
development can be deemed sustainable. What, then, is new?
Perhaps the most significant difference lies in the recognition that an efficient,
functioning economy is a precondition for addressing the other two pillars of
sustainability. Much sustainable development activism over the past decades has
been a thinly disguised effort to give the environment priority over social and eco-
nomic concerns, betraying a deep suspicion of economically driven motivation
and doubting the attachment of the working masses to the natural environment.
7

A green economy recognizes that it is the form of organization of humankind’s
economic activity that will, in the end, determine whether or not we are successful
in addressing the problems of social marginalization and environmental destruc-
tion. If we get the former right, the others have a better chance of following—not,
it must be stressed, as a result of the wealth generated, but because concern
for social and environmental matters is an integral part built into the economic
organization. In a green economy, actions taken to reach economic ends also
advance social and environmental ones, just as actions taken to meet social and
environmental ends strengthen and develop the economy.
22 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Still, what are the boundaries of a green economy? At what point do we say that
we have one in place? Surely this state would be reached several steps short of
perfection, but if it is to avoid being specious, the anointment of an economy as
“green” must meet certain tests in terms of impact on sustainability. But what are
these tests, and who should apply them?
It is both an advantage and a disadvantage that the movement for a green
economy is taking place as neo-liberalism lies in ruins, its precepts disgraced
and its followers inclined to keep their heads down. It is an advantage because
the world is ripe for new ideas, new thinking, and new approaches. We are in an
intellectual environment in which assaults on orthodoxy are fair game, where
we are all casting around for alternatives to the discredited neo-liberal economic
paradigm. Fresh ideas are welcome; so, to some extent, are ideas that are not
particularly fresh but that have a new coat of paint and a freshly serviced engine.
A window of opportunity has edged open, but the gentlest wind could close it
again unless the opportunity is seized.
In a sense, the disadvantage of the present situation is that the window opened
before we were truly ready to take advantage of it, and we are all scrambling to
come up with a robust, complete, and compelling answer to the question: “What
next?” Unless we do so, the likelihood is that we will all, like victims of an earth-
quake, straggle back to our ruined houses only to rebuild them on the traditional
design, with the same materials as before, because this is what we know, this is
what we are familiar with—even if we would be happy to sample new ideas if
they were genuinely offered.
THE NECESSITY OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Let us imagine that the green economy grows wings and takes off, that the govern-
ments of the world forgather and adopt the basics of the green economy as their
chosen form of economic organization. Could we then sit back and congratulate our-
selves, confident that social and environmental issues have been set on a firm course
toward a positive solution, within the framework of a robust and vibrant economy?
Sadly not. If public pledges over the past three decades are anything to go
by, public declarations—even when accompanied by solemn legal undertak-
ings—are no guarantee that things will move in the direction suggested by the
public pledge. Indeed, the history of sustainable development is by and large the
history of unsustainable development, peppered by broken promises. Is there
anything we can do to change that?
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 23
Early and strong attention to accountability is the only guarantee that prom-
ises of green responsibility in rebuilding the economy will lead—in a reason-
ably straight line—to green
responsibility dominating
our economic behavior.
8
As
we design the new green
economy, we must flank
that design with a series of
accountability measures to
ensure that politicians cannot
cynically gain points by calling for a green economy while busily rebuilding an
economy along traditional lines. What sort of accountability measures might be
envisaged?
Accountability suggests that a price must be paid for not doing what one has
promised to do. That price must be sufficiently high that ignoring it is some-
thing decision-makers and politicians will not do lightly. Accountability mea-
sures can be in the form of incentives or disincentives. In the case of the former,
there are clear advantages to be gained from moving quickly and resolutely to
implement what has been promised, whether these incentives are financial or
not. In the latter case, there is a clear price to be paid for non-compliance, again
financial or otherwise.
Within the environment and development worlds, there are many examples of
the successful use of both ”carrots” and ”sticks” to reduce the accountability gap,
yet there is no systematic attempt to make these a central point in institutional
design.
9
This leaves politicians with the easy option to look good by promising
miracles, knowing that they will never be held accountable for failing to deliver.
When the time comes, the easiest course will simply be to offer new promises.
If the campaign for a green economy is to avoid this fate, it must ensure the
range of accountability measures is solidly in place as the green economy is
constructed.
10
It must ensure the series of incentive and disincentive measures
is empowered by the right mix of legislation, institutional tracking mechanisms,
third party monitoring, and funding mechanisms to allow rewards to be offered
and legal mechanisms to allow punishment to be meted out. In the course of
design, it is also fundamental to look at the present range of incentives and dis-
incentives currently driving economic behavior to ensure that these are in line
with the objectives of the green economy. Where perverse incentives are in place
As we design the new green economy, we
must flank that design with a series of ac-
countability measures to ensure that politi-
cians cannot cynically gain points by calling
for a green economy while busily rebuilding
an economy along traditional lines.
24 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
(e.g. subsidies, tax breaks, privileged access to capital, etc.), it is important that
these be removed or restructured until the factors driving personal behavior or
consumer choice are aligned with the needs of the green economy.
It is vital that we gather best practices in this field, assess what has worked and
what has not, and identify what mix of carrot and stick works best. We must
identify those positive practices that have the potential to be scaled up and
replicated, and we must review the full panoply of tools that will make stronger
accountability something welcomed by all countries, independent of their level
of development or of their contribution to economic growth or environmental
destruction.
If we fail to do this—and do it now, in the design phase—there is a real chance
that the green economy will turn out to be just another ride on the global merry-
go-round of broken promises and lost opportunities.
1 Najam, A., D. Runnalls, and M. Halle. 2007. Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions. Winnipeg, Canada:
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
2 Najam, A. and M. Halle. 2010. Global Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Accountability. Sustainable
Development Insights, No. 5. Boston University: The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range
Future.
3 Serra, N. and J. E. Stiglitz. 2008. The Washington Consensus Reconsidered: Towards a New Global Governance.
New York: Oxford University Press.
4 Fukuyama, F. 1992. The End of History and the Last Man. New York: The Free Press.
5 Halle, M. and R. Meléndez-Ortiz. 2007. The Case for a Positive Southern Agenda on Trade and Environment,
Chapter 2 in Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment, A. Najam, M. Halle, and R.
Meléndez-Ortiz (eds). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
6 Najam, A., D. Runnalls, and M. Halle. 2007.
7 Halle, M. 2002. Sustainable Development Cools Off. IISD Commentary. Winnipeg, Canada: International Insti-
tute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
8 Najam, A. and M. Halle. 2010.
9 Najam, A., M. Papa, and N. Taiyab. 2006. Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. Winnipeg,
Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
10 Najam, A. and M. Halle. 2010.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 25
3. Development Governance and the Green Economy:
A Matter of Life and Death?
by Tom Bigg
“The real science of political economy, which has yet to be distinguished
from the bastard science, as medicine from witchcraft, and astronomy
from astrology, is that which teaches nations to desire and labour for the
things that lead to life; and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the
things that lead to destruction.”
John Ruskin
Unto This Last, 1860
The governance of development encompasses the range of institutions, systems,
processes, and decisions that affect the well-being and prospects of poor people
and countries. This goes far beyond the bodies directly charged with responsi-
bility for achieving agreed development objectives; it includes the impacts of
trade agreements and instruments; the exercise of power and rights at local and
national levels; access to and use of natural resources and land; the functioning
of markets; and a whole range of other factors that affect prospects for improve-
ments to the well-being of individuals and nations.
The “green economy” is a similarly broad concept; it belongs at the centre
of national and global debates about how we could and should organize our
economies and lives differently if we are to achieve environmental sustain-
ability, social justice, and a viable and stable economy in the longer term. At
present there is a risk that the notion of a ”green economy” will be discredited;
its political currency means that it is increasingly associated with short-term,
incremental tweaks to the mainstream and with the search for comparative
advantage, not with challenges to the underlying drivers of change in our
economies and societies.
Ruskin’s challenge is highly relevant here: how can the world move toward “life”
and away from “destruction”? Can we establish a vision of the world we want to
live in 30 or 40 years ahead, and then track a path by which we can get there?
26 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Although the challenge for this essay was to scope out what development gov-
ernance should look like by the middle of the 21st century, a look backwards is
also needed. What visions of the future and the means by which to realize them
were set out 40 years ago, when the year 2000 was a distant prospect? What
has been the experience of acting on and augmenting those visions during the
intervening decades? What conclusions can we draw about the successes and
failures, about what’s improving and what isn’t, about what is no longer seen
as significant? What have emerged as major challenges over that period? And
finally, can we prioritize areas for action now that will move the world in the
right direction and lead to life?
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE IN THE 1970s
Forty years ago the world was a very different place. Many of the changes since
would have been unimaginable, and the unpredictability of subsequent events,
inventions, social change, and discoveries all color our reading of prognoses
from the 1970s and ‘80s. However, three factors are particularly striking in the
most prominent future casting from that period and are explored below.
Let’s take two examples: the report produced for the 1972 Stockholm Confer-
ence on the Human Environment Only One Earth (by Barbara Ward and René
Dubos) and the much-maligned 1972 Club of Rome report Limits to Growth (by
Donella Meadows et al.). Both were officially sanctioned and closely linked with
inter-governmental bodies. Both looked at the impacts of resource scarcity and
growing human impacts on the planet—in other words, at development chal-
lenges and the capacity of markets and states to meet growing human needs.
Both presented projections for key variables up to the year 2000. Both set out
a vision of how the world should be in the future and the steps needed to get
there. Looking back, how should we rate their accuracy and what lessons can we
learn from them?
First, they offered an impressive level of accuracy in the predictions made for
global change over the past 30 years or so. Only One Earth predicted that the
global population would reach 6.5 billion by 2000, with the urban population
overtaking the rural one around the end of the century—both within a few years
of the truth. While world energy consumption was actually about 30 percent
below the projection for 2000, the authors estimated that average global tem-
peratures could rise by 0.5
o
C by 2000 as a result of human activity. Predictions in
Limits to Growth were also surprisingly accurate: for 2008, world population was
projected at 6.7 billion (actual figure 6.9 billion), and per capita industrial output
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 27
was estimated at 1.8 times 1970 levels (actual figure 1.9 times). Projections for
birth and death rates globally, however, were rather less on the mark.
1
Hall and Day, in their work “Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil,”
conclude that “there is growing evidence that the original ‘Cassandras’ were right
on the mark in their general assessment, if not always in the details or exact tim-
ing, about the dangers of the continued growth of human population and their
increasing levels of consumption in a world increasingly approaching very real
material constraints.”
2
Second, the key drivers of change and the dilemmas to be addressed identified
in the two reports remain largely in place. To pick just two of many examples,
Ward and Dubos explored the tensions between environmental concerns and
development objectives, and the corrosive distrust that could derail global
action.
3
Meadows et al. argued that, as natural resources are placed under grow-
ing strain and limits are reached, increasing amounts of capital and manpower
will have to be diverted to cope with these constraints, leading eventually to
declines in quality of life. Both of these points are at least as relevant today as
when they were written, along with numerous other analyses of the power
dynamics and barriers to progress underlying the two publications. The purpose
here is not to point out how prescient these authors were (though this is certainly
true) but to highlight the intractable, continuing nature of the drivers of unsus-
tainable, inequitable development they identified. Presenting a strong analysis
and a rational argument for change—appealing to the rational and enlightened to
act—is not in itself sufficient.
Third, the recommendations for action to deal with these challenges are ambi-
tious, logical, and compelling, and are still relevant because they have not been
adequately addressed in the intervening years. Addressing the potential impacts
of climate change, Only One Earth argues for “a new capacity for global decision-
making and global care. [Man’s global interdependence] requires coordinating
powers for monitoring and research. It means new conventions to draw up
ground rules to control emissions from aircraft… It requires a new commitment
to global responsibilities.” Looking back in 2004, the authors of Limits to Growth
conclude: “We are much more pessimistic about the global future than we were
in 1972. It is a sad fact that humanity has largely squandered the past 30 years
in futile debates and well-intentioned, but half-hearted, responses to the global
ecological challenge.”
4

28 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
We can draw some broad conclusions from this short and partial summary. We
already have the information, the projections into the future, the intellectual
arguments, and the practical tools for action needed to deliver effective and fair
development in conjunction with better stewardship of natural resources and
systems to safeguard the planet for future generations, using the wealth of data
and analysis generated over the past 40 years. While further assessments and
reports are useful in sustaining awareness of key trends and potential tipping
points, they do not in themselves offer the ”magic bullet” that will shift the
mainstream.
However, appeals to enlightened self-interest and the need for global action
have very limited traction, and the growing influence of countries that have no
desire to cede power to international agencies or give up elements of sovereignty
means any supra-national framework for action is a long shot for the foreseeable
future. While we already have a composite long-term vision of where the world
should be going, we lack clarity on the immediate, incremental steps that can
get us there. Furthermore, although states have made commitments to address
environmental challenges and tackle poverty and the lack of access to basic
resources, progress is partial—and there is little evidence of positive change in
the poorest countries.
The reality is that moves toward a more sustainable and fairer world are up
against some tough constraints: the interests of powerful constituencies that
defend their turf and can manipulate the political system to stymie change; the
hierarchy of policy and politics in almost every country which places environ-
mental issues towards the bottom and economic growth and military security
at the top; and the difficulty of achieving strong global regimes to effect change
at a time when multilateralism is on the retreat. The most pressing challenge is
to develop the tactics and tools for incremental change in critical areas that can
start to move our societies and economies in the right direction.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE “GREEN ECONOMY”?
There are two principal ways in which the green economy concept offers the
potential to move beyond the stalemate that has mired most international nego-
tiations on sustainable development over the past decade or so.
Green economy is a term used by new and surprising sets of actors. Incorpora-
tion of “green stimulus” elements in the financial recovery packages in 2008–09
was not driven by an environmental lobby, but by economic calculations of
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 29
the potential for job creation and economic resilience. Within many countries,
anticipated scarcity in access to fossil fuels and “rare earth” minerals (to pick
just two examples) are driving policy and technological efforts to shape alterna-
tive futures. Private sector actors are anticipating major shifts in markets and
resource availability, and planning for much lower carbon intensity production
as a result. In short, the economics of scarcity and uncertainty are stimulating
significant efforts to develop alternative, “greener” business models and patterns.
Poor countries have much to gain from a focus on the green economy. While
environmental assets provide just two percent of total wealth in the Organ-
isation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, they
provide around 26 percent of wealth in the poorest countries.
5
Within develop-
ing countries, the figures are even more striking. While seven percent of India’s
GDP is directly attributable to
services from ecological sys-
tems, the poorest tenth of the
population derives 57 percent
of its gross domestic product
from ecosystem services,
through small-scale or infor-
mal economic activities such
as farming, animal husbandry,
informal forestry, and fisheries. Furthermore, rapidly emerging economies have
the potential to expand energy provision and plan for urban growth without
having to undo the legacy of a century or more of outmoded infrastructure and
associated patterns of social behavior.
So far so good. The potential for major change seems more real than at any time
since the early 1970s. However, this does little to address the need for greater
fairness in the distribution of resources and opportunity, and the structures of
governance that can make these a reality. In periods of rapid change and uncer-
tainty, the likelihood is that the rich and powerful will draw away from those at
the other end of the scale rather than act in solidarity. And as noted above, there
is little sign that supranational institutions and commitments will strengthen
over the coming decades. What compelling vision, then, can we articulate that
links global equity inextricably with a new green economy? What institutions,
instruments, and levers of influence might be needed at global level to make a
greener economy also a fairer one?
Poor countries have much to gain from a
focus on the green economy. While environ-
mental assets provide just two percent of
total wealth in the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD)
countries, they provide around 26 percent
of wealth in the poorest countries.
30 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
THE VISION
As Willy Brandt stated in the Brandt Commission, “A new century nears, and with
it the prospects of a new civilization. Could we not begin to lay the basis for that
new community with reasonable relations among all people and nations, and to
build a world in which sharing, justice, freedom and peace might prevail?”
6

The vision that we have carried since the early 1970s, and most fully articulated
in Our Common Future, is of an economy that produces a range of social and
environmental, as well as economic, benefits for individuals, communities,
and society overall. It is a vision of environmental governance that restores and
protects the resilience of ecosystems and the biodiversity within them, and thus
secures the many services they provide. It is a vision of development that uses
natural resources sustainably, allocating environmental benefits and costs fairly
to achieve a more just and equitable society.
What are the key characteristics of an effective governance system at an interna-
tional level that can help deliver these assets around the world? I propose three
major elements that could usefully inform the incremental progress we should
aim for over the coming three to four decades. First, a shift from development
aid to payments for public goods; second, a leveling of the playing field so that
environmentally sound and socially just practice is rewarded across the spec-
trum; and third, active support for local diversity and accountability as critical
factors in building economic resilience.
First, there must be socially just payments for public goods. We can already
see the rapid emergence of a system intended to increase global capacity to
address the impacts of climate change, and to help secure the benefits of a stable
and functioning climate system for the planet. This already demonstrates the
potential for money and other forms of support to be transferred that dwarfs
the aid budget (notwithstanding huge flaws in governance and lack of vision). It
seems highly unlikely, given current trends and political pressures, that “official
development assistance” in its current form will still exist by 2050. In its place,
and at much more ambitious levels, we could be in a position where a range
of public goods are funded through instruments that act as a tax on “bads” and
reward “goods.” Countries should be enabled to shift from reliance on aid to
receiving payment for services that safeguard significant resources. As develop-
ment experts Keith Bezanson and Francisco Sagasti put it, development is not so
much a problem to be solved as a condition from which to evolve.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 31
Crucial to the success of this transformation would be to avoid creation of some
gargantuan bureaucracy while still facilitating the effective transfer of funds and
other resources (know-how, innovations, etc.) through a diversity of channels. An
inter-governmental governance framework is necessary to provide oversight and
legitimacy, but not to dominate the activities. A second crucial factor is to recog-
nize and respond to demand for support. Development to date has been over-
whelmingly supply-driven; a future alternative should recognize local specificity
and particular contexts in which positive change is possible and find ways to
support these effectively. The implications of this shift are huge—and there’s no
space to explore them further here. However, one significant implication should
be the strengthening of local and national systems of accountability.
Second, it is time to level the playing field. It is quite clear that there are signifi-
cant barriers to moving towards a greener global economy and society that are
built into the fabric of our world. Our system of shareholder value imposes a
terrifyingly short time horizon on all publicly listed companies. Our economic
models and accounting systems exclude environmental costs and assets from
calculations, which means these still have little value in financial terms. As
above, international development governance is not best placed to oversee and
“manage” each of these areas; what we need is the capacity to assess where
prevailing rules and instruments are reinforcing unsustainable practice and the
means to challenge them.
This kind of approach will only be effective if it demonstrates three character-
istics. The first of these is the capacity to prioritize: There are a multitude of
things wrong with the way the world functions that have a negligible impact on
critical sustainability factors, and a limited number that have a seismic global
effect. It will be essential to identify the most important international governance
changes that are needed and present a clear and compelling case for change.
The second characteristic is subsidiarity: Only issues that cannot be resolved at
lower levels of governance should be tackled at global level. The third attribute
needed is power, or agency: As we have seen earlier, being able to identify prob-
lems and propose solutions is of little value if the perpetrators are able to ignore
the prognosis and calls for change.
This is, of course, a long way from the realities we face today, and it is hard to
see how we could arrive at a governance regime able to achieve this level of
influence. However, an effective and coherent global system would require this
capacity to identify and change existing drivers of change.
32 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Third, local diversity and accountability must be supported. Most of the critical
factors in determining whether the “green economy” becomes a reality will be
played out at local and national levels. The governance and planning of urban
centers will be (and already are) crucial in determining future patterns of energy
use, employment, consumption of natural resources, rewards for livelihoods,
and so on. Opportunities to
create ”green jobs” depend
less on international factors
than on local characteristics
(e.g., the availability of skilled
labor; regulations and incen-
tives put in place by local and national governments; investment options; com-
parative advantage through location, natural resources, etc.). Accountability for
decisions taken and policy coherence is most needed at the local level to ensure
that the progress made in meeting social and environmental needs at one level
is not wiped out through conflicting measures or actions at another level.
All of this takes place outside the purview of international governance. Where
there is a key role for some form of global action is in legitimizing such activ-
ity where useful, in making connections between different contexts to enable
learning and collaboration, and in addressing trans-national factors that impede
progress at lower levels of governance.
1 Hall, C. A. S. and J. W. Day. 2009. Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil. American Scientist, 97(2). See
also Turner, G. 2008. A Comparison of ‘The Limits to Growth’ with Thirty Years of Reality. Commonwealth Scien-
tific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Available at http://www.csiro.au/files/files/plje.pdf.
2 Hall, C. A. S. and J. W. Day. 2009.
3 Ward, B. and R. Dubos. 1972. Only One Earth. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. (p. 284) “Some developing gov-
ernments fear that tighter environmental controls might be used as further barriers to their overseas sales. How do
we know, they argue, that this new concern with the environment is an honest one? . . . The fact that the developed
nations’ increased interest in the human environment has coincided, among some of the wealthiest of them, with
an apparent loss of concern for development assistance does little to allay such fears.”
4 Meadows, D., D. Meadows, and J. Randers. 2004. Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update. Vermont: Chelsea
Green Publishing.
5 Hamilton, K., G. Ruta, K. Bolt, A. Markandya, S. Pedroso-Galinato, P. Silva, M. S. Ordoubadi, G. Lange, and L.
Tajibaeva. 2005. Where is the Wealth of Nations? Washington D.C.: The World Bank.
6 Brandt, W. 1983. Foreword to Common Crisis. North-South: Co-operation for World Recovery. The Brandt Commis-
sion. Available online at http://files.globalmarshallplan.org/inhalt/coc_2.pdf.
Most of the critical factors in determining
whether the “green economy” becomes
a reality will be played out at local and
national levels.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 33
4. Governance of International Trade for
the Green Economy
by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
*
“If a term has many diverging definitions, it is better to begin by assuming
that it is full of meanings. For none of the main ideas of our civilization
has a single meaning.”
Walter Lippmann,
Essays in the Public Philosophy (1955)
ON ECONOMICS AND SUSTAINABILITY
In its simplest formulation, the “green economy” refers to economics in the name of
sustainability: a system of interactions among markets, environmental forces, and
social policies that supports human subsistence and freedoms over generations.
Sustainability broadens the study of economics, moving it beyond the assump-
tion that utility sufficiently explains individual behavior and that certain “natu-
ral” laws govern market exchanges. It calls for a reformulation of economics in
the direction proposed by Amartya Sen, bringing together modern economics
and the foundations of the moral philosophy of welfarism, thus welding eco-
nomics to the natural resource realities of today, the rapidly integrating global
market, and the blinding pace of technological innovation supporting it.
If economics intends to “understand, explain and predict human behavior” to
inform “prognosis and policy” in the service of sustainability, tinkering with con-
cepts of classical economic thought may not give us all the tools that we now need.
1

Sustainable development requires that economic actors be guided by an Aristote-
lian “god-like” aim, not by the “good of man.” In Adam Smith’s words, good citizens
promote the “welfare of the whole society.”
2
Today, in the context of sustainable
development, such aims refer to an inter-generational imperative as well.
We need to ensure that institutional arrangements and decisions do not hurt
our ability for maintaining or improving future living standards. Moreover, by
capturing the negative externalities of our natural resource use, our economic
34 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
institutions and systems should be managed so that we can live off the dividends
instead. We need to distinguish “between survivability, which requires welfare
to be above a threshold in all periods, and sustainability which requires welfare
to be non-decreasing in all time periods.”
3
We need to provide incentives that
protect rainforests rather than turn them into charcoal.
We are currently transitioning from a world of plenty into one in which the
planet’s resources have been compromised in their ability to sustain our routines.
We are also in a world of global economic and social multi-level governance.
From the perspective of the trade system of today, how can we get to sustainabil-
ity? And what is the role of institutions in the creation of a green economy?
THE GOVERNANCE WEB
Trade and sustainable development hinge on institutions. In the absence of a formal
worldwide authority, governments need to ensure that domestic and international
institutions interact constructively to pursue sustainable development goals and not
work at cross-purposes. Several crucial sustainable development policies will have
ramifications for commercial exchange. Shaping and managing this intersection is
the governance challenge. While national governments can establish sustainability
directives for ministries, this is not an option available at the multilateral level.
Global “governance,” rather than “government,” recognizes a system that operates
under formal and informal rules and practices arising from multiple sources, and in
which efforts are accountable to multiple stakeholders.
4
Getting these rules to rein-
force each other and work together coherently is critical. To do this, governments
will need to work innovatively within and across institutions.
The challenges are manifold. Population growth is concentrated in the poor-
est countries, where meeting basic human development needs and aspirations
entails increased resource use. Increasing wealth in the developing world—a
good thing—involves changing diets and boosting demand for resource-intensive
food, which puts more pressure on nature and energy systems. Climate change
impacts are complicating the picture even more.
New policies governing investment, finance, energy, and knowledge are neces-
sary to harness economic activity into modes of production that favour resource
conservation. However, the current trading system—which encompasses the
multilateral rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) together with the
growing landscape of bilateral and regional trade agreements—is not yet fully
equipped to steer economic activity towards new pathways.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 35
Let us have no illusions about the trading system’s capacity to play a driving
role. Most of the decisions necessary to set the planet on a course to sustainabil-
ity will not be made within the trading system, but virtually all such policy deci-
sions—from the internalization of environmental costs to policies that encour-
age innovation—will impinge on trade: what we produce, where we produce it,
and how we exchange it. Some policy will overlap with issues now dealt with
by international trade rules, such as intellectual property, standards, and protec-
tions for foreign investors. There are ample opportunities for policy-makers and
influencers to ensure that trade-related policies do not detract from the pursuit
of sustainable development.
5

At the same time, the trading system must remain true to its own principles and
not allow environmental policy to become a pretext for governments to engage
in discriminatory practices or pander to influential domestic economic actors.
Trade and investment policies determine allocation and use of resources, from
minerals and labor to knowledge and soil. Individual societies’ abilities to govern
domestic resources are affected by the international regulatory systems for trade
and investment—systems that they, in turn, can influence.
The idea is simple enough, but governments have a record of taking with one
hand what they have given with the other. By conflating development policy
with development aid, they have too often ignored the developmental effects of
their trade, investment, immigration, and environmental policies. The classic
example is levying high tariffs on goods exported by aid recipients. A more
complex narrative comes from the incoherence of governments’ pursuit of a
fundamental global developmental goal: food security, which has been an inter-
national policy objective for decades. Yet, nearly one human in six still does not
get enough food to lead a healthy and active life.
One problem linked to trade governance is well known: Rich country farm
subsidies and tariffs push down prices and weaken incentives for developing
country governments, or the private sector, to invest in agricultural production
and build roads and the other rural infrastructure necessary to support it. The
Uruguay Round trade talks, which brought agricultural tariffs and subsidies into
the scope of multilateral trade rules, failed to correct these practices. Decades of
low productivity and low farm prices pushed many small farmers in developing
countries to look for other sources of income. In the process, they became net
buyers of food. When food prices rose in 2007–08, many developing coun-
try farmers got caught in the middle. Correcting these problems requires an
36 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
evidence-based approach that allows countries to rise above commercial and
mercantilist interests and conclude the WTO’s Doha Round. Coherent, coopera-
tive action on land-use across the governance board—whether on forests, water,
biodiversity or climate—is another urgent need that must be addressed.
BUT…
It is not possible to look at trade governance processes in isolation from broader
governance challenges. Modern international institutions must operate in circum-
stances they have never had to confront before: an increasingly multi-polar world.
No single actor can impose its will on others. Moreover, the worst financial and
economic crisis in decades has devastated some of our core assumptions about
the global economy. As a result, major powers now disagree on fundamental
aspects of how economies should be organized. Concordant beliefs and expecta-
tions are necessary to motivate action and change in international regimes.
Even though “policy coherence” is a phrase used too much and followed too
little, it is a concept to which we must return as we begin talking of building a
“green economy.” Our collective failure to produce global public goods, such as
updated multilateral trade rules that respond better to poor countries’ needs or
curb greenhouse gas emissions, has been due at least in part to an inadequacy
of what has been called “cosmopolitics”—“global political action transcending a
strict state-to-state, or multilateral, basis.”
6

DOING WITH WHAT WE HAVE—INCREMENTALLY
The rules and practices embodied in the multilateral trading system offer
governments ample potential to take action on current and future challenges
linked to sustainable development—it’s just that governments have not purpose-
fully taken advantage of them yet.
7
Making trade governance more supportive
of sustainable development will require governments to change their behavior.
Networks that bring together civil society, business, international organizations,
and governments have done sterling work on several challenges, from public
health to environmental protection and corruption. But trade institutions largely
remain an enterprise between governments.
Moreover, the “legislative” or rule-making function of the WTO and other trade
institutions is likely to remain limited to government participation only. Outside
input into their “ideational” function—identifying which issues to discuss, and
potential solutions—is desirable, especially from non-traditional sources (i.e.,
those other than business). But here too, governments will play a central role.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 37
Even if a “trisectoral network” analogous to the World Commission on Dams
was created to bring governments, business, and civil society together to think
through the challenges of making the trade system contribute positively to a
green economy, any recommendations would have trouble being heard at the
WTO unless the initiatives received member governments’ blessing.
To make sense of a chaotic and disorderly system, the hundreds of preferen-
tial trade arrangements of various types and coverage is a good place to start.
The WTO has failed miserably to bring consistent rules here. A continuing
black mark for the trading
system is the vastly uneven
capabilities among govern-
ments to assess their own
needs and grasp the implica-
tions for global challenges of
the complex web of arrange-
ments. And the development of such preferential agreements in a closed,
competitive approach results in a fragmentation of markets at various levels.
One proposal, a review by a Global Task Force of Ministers, may help mini-
mize inefficiencies and complexities inherent in the current system. This may
lower the bar of meaningful participation from Olympian heights and make
coherence more plausible.
On this same path, countries need to update trade rules that are not working
for sustainable development. The de facto differentiation among developing
countries that has emerged in the Doha Round negotiations could become
a springboard for a bold experiment in giving nations more policy space to
respond to risk, unsustainable situations, or vulnerabilities. Parties to bilateral
trade agreements could alter investment provisions so that they are not used as a
sword against legitimate health and environmental action. WTO members could
act to anticipate potential challenges to trade governance that might arise from
governments’ pursuit of sustainable development, enabling a nimble response.
WTO members would do well to build on existing subsidy rules to identify and
target government handouts that damage the environment; for example, govern-
ment procurement rules and standards on process and production methods or
measures addressing carbon content could be developed following non-discrimi-
nation principles, ensuring prevention of disguised protectionism.
A continuing black mark for the trading sys-
tem is the vastly uneven capabilities among
governments to assess their own needs and
grasp the implications for global challenges
of the complex web of arrangements.
38 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
In the past few years, countries have been able to provide expression in trade
terms—through particular prescriptions for market access, for instance—to the
intractable concepts of food security, sustainable livelihoods, and rural develop-
ment. They have done it in the context of Doha’s negotiations by recognizing
and classifying the particularities of specific products in terms of agro-ecological
conditions, nutritional intake, employment relevance, and a long list of indica-
tors that despite its hard reality would otherwise be unapparent to multilateral
policymaking. While the possibilities are there, countries can only shift direction
and rearrange objectives if driven by compelling vision and political leadership.
BROADENING THE SYSTEM
Issue-specific cooperation outside trade-related institutions could amplify the
contribution that trade governance could make to sustainable development.
For instance, while continuing the slow process of reducing rich country farm
subsidies inside the WTO, governments collaborating in the Organisation for
Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) could agree to a tax on farm
subsidies, with the proceeds directed at funding agricultural research and devel-
opment and extension services in developing countries.
8

Having to pay extra for the privilege of subsidizing would potentially make gov-
ernments think twice about lavish farm programs and their international conse-
quences. Investing a share of subsidy money directly in boosting agricultural pro-
ductivity in developing countries would amplify the effects of the WTO’s subsidy
reform process. A farm subsidy tax may be wishful thinking. But a different trade
issue with direct ramifications for food security—including agricultural export
bans—will be impossible to address without serious complementary policies.
Sudden bans of farm exports are not good policy: Not only do they “starve your
neighbor,” they discourage investment to boost future production.
9
But export
bans do make a lot of sense to a government faced with rioters demanding
cheaper food. Similarly, growing rice in solar-powered greenhouses, fed by
groundwater and cooled with seawater, seems preposterous from both a cost
standpoint and an environmental one. But Djibouti started doing it when it felt
that it could no longer trust world markets for its food supply.
10
Action outside the WTO could enhance the sustainable development impacts of
the Doha talks to liberalize trade in environmental goods and services. Research
in renewable energies suggests that tariffs are just one in many factors determin-
ing whether companies choose to invest in green technology.
11
Other policies,
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 39
such as “feed-in tariffs” guaranteeing a price for renewable electricity, subsidies
for components, and the use of renewable energy tax breaks, matter at least as
much. If a group of governments got together and cooperated on these other fac-
tors—for instance, by harmonizing standards or making them interoperable, and
establishing incentives for the sharing of trade secrets linked to green technol-
ogy—it would substantially expand the market for environmental goods.
Similar institutional subsidiarity action is called for in the case of regulation of use
of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, a key aspect of building incentives
for the protection of biodiversity. Governments could act at the WTO to amend the
intellectual property agreement, which provides the global baseline for patent rules,
to include a genetic resources disclosure requirement for patent applicants. The
Convention on Biological Diversity could finalize a protocol spelling out the rules
guiding access to those genetic resources, as well as the sharing of benefits that arise
from them. The World Intellectual Property Organization could develop an instru-
ment to protect folklore and traditional cultural expressions, while also serving as a
repository for best practices on the protection of genetic resources.
More immediately, consistency in financing responses becomes urgent as the
international community comes to grips with wants of developing economies
in the face of emerging challenges. Today, an Aid-for-Trade (A4T) initiative has
been established at the WTO involving major international financial institu-
tions. Within two to three years of implementation, resources at a magnitude
of approximately $5 billion per year were flowing. In 2006–2007, total new
commitments from bilateral, multilateral donors and others had reached over
$50 billion.
12
At the same time, the Kyoto Protocol unleashed climate mitiga-
tion funding for developing countries. Commitments under the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the December 2009 Copenhagen
Accord have lined up $30 billion for immediate release in 2010–2012. This flow
of funds is expected to ramp up to $100 billion per year by 2020 to attend to the
adaptation and mitigation requirements of developing countries.
In moving towards a green economy, A4T and climate financing may be address-
ing similar and synergetic objectives: from specific analytical and policy capabili-
ties, to shifts in production, material needs, and challenges to competitiveness.
Operational realities will dictate the obligation of addressing trade and climate
financing in a coordinated manner. A sound understanding of needs, ways,
and means to effect demonstrable change is still to be fully developed, as is an
efficient and responsive governance scheme. Lessons learned in the financing
40 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
of climate change accords and the elaboration of national adaptation plans of
action, as well as the World Bank’s endeavour to draw poverty reduction strategy
papers as basis for development financing, should inform the push for coherence.
Devising an institutional apparatus that brings together donors with recipient
countries around the goal of coherence and coordination is a primary task in the
governance of trade for the green economy.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TRADE AND THE GREEN ECONOMY
Today’s trade system may be incapable of steering the world into a “green econ-
omy.” It is, however, a wisely constructed governance device, with valuable prin-
ciples for the management of interaction among members at different levels of
development. Yet it is a system informed by a theoretical perspective of econom-
ics and the homo economicus questionable from a sustainability perspective.
In the absence of a review to
complement it, tinkering with
what we have may move us
closer to shifting pathways,
but only if societal concerns
are introduced in an operative
manner and responsive adaptations to the system are added in strategic steps. A
firm political will, articulated in the form of a compact for shared vision agreed
upon at Rio+20, may trigger reform and make it possible.
Establishing a governance system for trade that supports the green economy
would take time—whether ruinously too long is in our leaders hands. And time
is the real test.
*
This short essay borrows partly from Trade Governance and Sustainable Development, by R. Meléndez-Ortiz and T.
Biswas, in Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Coun-
tries. C. Deere Birkbeck, (ed.), forthcoming from Cambridge: Cambridge University Press in 2011.
1 Sen, A. 1987. On Ethics and Economics. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell.
2 Smith, A. 1776: 1904. The Wealth of Nations. E. Cannan, ed. London: Methuen and Co. ,Ltd.
3 Munasinghe, M. 1993. Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. World Bank Environment Paper
No.3. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
4 Najam, A. 2003. The Case Against a New International Environmental Organization. Global Governance, 9(3):
367–384.
5 Najam, A., R. Meléndez-Ortiz, and M. Halle. 2007. Searching for Southern Agendas on Trade and Environment,
Chapter 1 in Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment, A. Najam, M. Halle, and R.
Meléndez-Ortiz. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
6 Charnovitz, S. 2002. WTO Cosmopolitics. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 34: 299–354.
A firm political will, articulated in the form
of a compact for shared vision agreed upon
at Rio+20, may trigger reform and make it
possible.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 41
7 Meléndez-Ortiz R. and T. Biswas. Forthcoming 2011. Trade Governance and Sustainable Development, in
Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Countries, C. Deere
Birkbeck (ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
8 Biswas, T. 2010. “Let’s counter the damage of subsidies,” letter to the Financial Times, 8 September.
9 Ryan, M. 2008. ‘”Starve Your Neighbor” Policy Roils Food Trade. Reuters. 5 March.
10 Martin, A. 2008. Mideast Facing Choice Between Crops and Water. The New York Times, 21 July.
11 Jha, V. 2009. Trade Flows, Barriers and Market Drivers in Renewable Energy Supply Goods: The Need to Level
the Playing Field. Bridges Trade BioRes Review 3(3), December. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustain-
able Development. Available at: http://ictsd.org/i/news/bioresreview/64027.
12 OECD and WTO, 2009. Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009: Maintaining Momentum. Paris and Geneva: Organisa-
tion for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Trade Organization.
42 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 43
5. Consuming Environments:
Options and Choices for 21st Century Citizens
by Stacy D. VanDeveer
Our world’s $70 trillion economy, with nearly seven billion humans in more
than 190 independent countries, makes truly unprecedented demands of the
earth’s resources. We grow, extract, produce, and trade vastly more than ever—
and we emit more wastes into the global environment than ever. Yet, it is not
only the dramatic and growing ecological costs of our species’ massive use of
resources that concern many activists, scholars, states, and firms around the
world. As we make enormous and growing demands on the earth’s resources,
we also make growing demands on each other and our political institutions.
1
Crucially, “we” humans consume resources very unequally. The wealthiest one
to two billion drive global consumption. Frankly, the earth cannot sustain the
material throughput of seven to nine billion people in the coming decades, if all
consume as many resources
as the wealthiest billion do
now. If we are to have a more
equitable, more sustainable
21st century, we must address
the connections between eco-
logical degradation, human
security, and consumption.
If the green economy refers
mainly to developing and deploying a few “cleaner” technologies and shopping
for more eco-friendly products, the many developmental and environmental
goals the international community has set for the next decades will not be met.
We need states and international institutions that work, and markets that engen-
der sustainability rather than undermine it. And, we need to be citizens, rather
than simply consumers and employees.
If the green economy refers mainly to
developing and deploying a few “cleaner”
technologies and shopping for more eco-
friendly products, the many developmental
and environmental goals the international
community has set for the next decades will
not be met.
44 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
RESOURCES, INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, AND REALITIES
Humans have been fighting over resources, and cooperating with each other to
trade, manage, and share them, throughout our history. Concerns about access
to oil, uranium, and other critical resources were integral parts of planning and
strategy in World War II, and they lurked beneath the global ideological struggles
of the Cold War. The 21st century’s globalizing economic, political, and social
processes have pushed the local and global politics of resources back into the
top tier of issues in world politics.
Traditionally, international politics scholars have focused analysis on state coop-
eration and/or conflict dynamics around issues of resource control and access.
They have paid less attention to the growing material consumption in the global
economy and to the inclination of global markets to push ecological damage and
humanitarian degradation out of sight of consumers and their political representa-
tives. More analysis that connects international politics among states over access
to natural resources with the causes and ramifications of accelerating resource
consumption is needed. So is a deeper examination of attempts by states, non-
governmental organizations (NGOs), and firms to curb the ecological and humani-
tarian abuses incumbent in contemporary global markets and consumption.
The resource/commodities trade has long fueled and funded violence, abuse,
and ecological destruction. Examples of this fact abound. Resources can be the
subject of military conflict, or the means to raise the money that fuels weapons
purchases or oppressive patronage networks and authoritarian governments.
Resources are centrally important in politics among the world’s great military
and economic powers, as well as the subject of politics and activism in local
communities and within families. But to understand global resource politics, we
start by accepting three facts and trying to think thoroughly about their connec-
tions and ramifications:
(1) Consumption uses things up;
(2) The world is a very unequal place;
(3) Scarcity can induce both human cooperation and conflict.
GLOBAL CONSUMPTION IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD
By now it is well known that we humans are consuming vast quantities of natu-
ral resources and changing our local, national, and global environments in the
process. Furthermore, everything comes from somewhere. Whether the things we
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 45
consume are grown, captured, mined, or manufactured—or some combination of
all of these—they come from somewhere. In the 21st century, these “somewheres”
are often geographically and socially distant from most “consumers.” People and
communities are involved in the complex international processes that create,
finance, harvest, distribute, and sell the things we use in our daily lives. If we are to
understand ever-expanding material throughput in our world (and global resource
geopolitics), then we must remember that consumption happens at every stage
or within every transaction along commodity and product chains.
2
At every stage,
with every interaction, things are used up. Every transaction along these chains or
webs of economic and social relations consumes resources.
The social and environmental conditions in which things are grown, harvested,
and mined are often quite grim—in ecological and humanitarian terms—and
often unregulated. Through complex commodity chains, the environmental and
social implications of the things people consume are hidden or distanced from
their everyday lives. Distancing of the implications of consumption severs feed-
back of information and ideas between socials groups involved in commodity
chains. It obscures the costs (often called the ecological and human externalities)
of our activities. In other words, the prices of goods do not reflect the costs—
environmental, social, human, or political—incurred in their growth, extraction,
design, production, trade, use, and disposal.
According to one recent estimate, humans consume about 50 percent more
natural resources than they did 30 years ago, with people in wealthier coun-
tries consuming 5 to 10 times as many resources as those in poorer ones.
3
The
same study also notes that we have become more economically efficient over
time, using 30 percent fewer resources to produce each dollar or euro of gross
domestic product. North American consumerism begets a lifestyle associated
with ravenous consumption of resources—energy, minerals, foods, and products
of all types. We also know such consumptive patterns and institutions are being
replicated around the world (mostly) by wealthy urbanites in many countries. For
example, consumption of fossil fuels, beef, and bottled water continue to grow
as the number of automobiles in the world passes one billion on its way to two
billion and beyond.
4
Such lifestyle choices globalize some of the most ecologi-
cally damaging and inefficient aspects of Northern consumer culture. Can this
process continue? By 2005, Americans used 50 billion bottles of water in a coun-
try where tap water is safe to drink in almost every location.
5
Can such trends
be globalized without engendering more violent conflict and without massive
ecological and humanitarian degradation?
46 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
As global consumption grows, the world remains a very unequal place. About
40 percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in poverty (defined by the World
Bank as living on less than $2 per day). Almost one billion people live in even
more desperate poverty—on less than $1 per day. In fact, about 80 percent of the
global population lives on less than $10 per day—about what it costs to see a film
or buy a couple of beers in much of the global North. More than 50 countries
(more than a quarter of the total number) are actually poorer, per capita, than
they were in the 1970s. Hundreds of millions have no access to clean water or
medical care, regularly expe-
rience hunger and malnutri-
tion, and live with little or
no hope of improvement in
these conditions.
6
These lives
are nearly unimaginable for
most North Americans and
Europeans—and increasingly
unknown to urbanites in
booming cites around the globe. The world’s poor and lower income citizens do
not drive growing global overconsumption or accelerate global competition for
resources, nor do they drive global resource scarcities.
Let us use carbon emissions as an example. While the average U.S. citizen emits
almost 20 metric tons of carbon each year, the average European or Japanese
citizen emits less than half of that, with similarly high standards of living. Chinese
per capita emissions are about five metric tons, and average per capita emissions
for India and most of Africa are less than two metric tons per year.
7
So, while
the African population grows much faster than that in North America, Europe,
or China, it is not Africans whose consumption is rapidly changing the global
climate. Nor is their consumption driving the global economy and its growing
demands on the earth’s resources. Africans, however, will suffer the consequences
of the global climate change they did not cause. Africa also plays host to many of
the violent and ecologically damaging aspects of global resource trade and poli-
tics—and the world’s largest states and industries play key roles in these politics.
Contemporary concern about consumptive and social justice aspects of “glo-
balization” has resulted in a host of state and non-state attempts to address the
negative environmental and social conditions in producer communities around
the globe. In recent years, scholars’ attention to consumption issues has grown,
as the aggregate demand of our species continues to increase and as the environ-
As global consumption grows, the world
remains a very unequal place. About 40
percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people live
in poverty (defined by the World Bank as
living on less than $2 per day). Almost one
billion people live in even more desperate
poverty—on less than $1 per day.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 47
mental and human health implications of global resource consumption mount.
8

Environmental and social justice advocates have also turned their attention
to combating overconsumption and to ecological and humanitarian costs of
unregulated, or badly regulated, agricultural production, mining, and manufac-
turing around the world.
9
Organizations such as Worldwatch Institute, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, WWF,
Global Witness, Fair Trade International, and thousands of other NGOs are working
tirelessly to reduce the environmental damage and human exploitation accompa-
nying the growth of global wealth and trade. Furthermore, some states are working
together, and with international organizations, NGOs, and private sector organiza-
tions, to attempt to reduce corruption and improve governance in areas such as
diamond mining and the oil and gas sector. Analysis of these diverse efforts yields
insights about their origins, design, and effectiveness, contributing to our under-
standing about the evolving roles of public, private, and civil society actors.
NON STATE-LED ACTIONS, OPTIONS, AND POLICIES
What can be done about the many environmental, security, and humanitarian
issues raised here? What is already being done? What is working? What can we
learn from innovative attempts to enhance sustainability occurring at different
scales across the global North and South? Such questions and their answers
must animate the analysis and debates in Rio and beyond. The good news is that
there are a host of non-state-led and state-led efforts underway from which to
draw lessons and build knowledge, and around which to enhance cooperation.
Hundreds of millions of people in the global North and South depend on com-
modities markets for their livelihoods, to say nothing of those who now reap
the tremendous benefits modern societies and economies afford. A reasonable
estimate is that nearly 150 million production workers (non-retail) and nearly
500 million households depend on the production of basic commodities.
10
This
number does not include the millions more dependent on the production of
thousands of finished goods. Even if it were possible for higher income societies
and consumers to stop consuming commodities, throwing hundreds of millions
of families out of work and leaving them without any means of support would
not beget sustainable development either. Few want to return to Stone Age life-
styles or life spans. So, what can be done?
Several sets of policy options currently pursued and/or suggested by ana-
lysts around the world are designed and championed by non-state actors in
48 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
civil society and/or the private sector. Some are designed to reduce aggre-
gate material throughput in consumer societies, while most are intended to
address specific aspects of the ecological and humanitarian damage engen-
dered by the contemporary, globalizing political economy. Most may be
deployed or experimented with at multiple levels of social organization, from
local to global. Four overlapping types of initiatives have dominated recent
practice and scholarly attention:
• awareness raising and education,
• certification and labeling schemes,
• corporate social responsibility, and
• ethical consumption/purchasing movements and campaigns.
Research has begun to assess the origins, operations, and evidence of impacts
and effectiveness associated with these types of non-state led activism and
governance. Prominent examples include certification and labeling associ-
ated with the Fair Trade movement and its thousands of products, the Forest
Stewardship Council and the Kimberley process, the work of Transparency
International to reduce corruption and improve governance, and the increas-
ing institutionalization of social responsibility and sustainability initiatives
within many of the world’s largest corporations and industrial sectors. While
these initiatives are not primarily led by state actors, public sector actors and
institutions may still play important roles. So, for example, government bod-
ies may decide to purchase certified goods whenever possible, or to convene
meetings and take other actions to engender corporate responsibility initia-
tives or disseminate their insights. In fact, many of these non-state-led initia-
tives are most active and influential where states function most effectively. In
other words, non-state-led initiatives remain heavily reliant on and involved
with states and the state system.
STATE-LED ACTIONS, OPTIONS, AND POLICIES
State-led policy options are also proliferating and under analysis around the
world. Some initiatives are (occasionally) designed to reduce aggregate material
throughput in consumer societies or (more often) to address specific aspects of the
ecological and humanitarian damage stemming from the contemporary, global-
izing political economy. All build on, and draw lessons from, existing and ongoing
political action and institutions. Again, most of the options may be deployed or
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 49
experimented with at multiple levels of government, from local to global. Five
overlapping types of initiatives currently receiving attention include the following:
• national regulations,
• effective international standards,
• adjustment of subsidies,
• tax externalities, and
• building governance capacities.
The growing analytical literature suggests that state action remains powerful,
and sometimes uniquely essential, in contemporary politics and markets if
environmental and social standards are to be raised. So, for example, if national
and global energy efficiency is to be rapidly improved (thereby reducing energy
consumption and polluting emissions), effective policies and regulations are
often required. Furthermore, research in both wealthier and developing coun-
tries suggests that states can accomplish tasks and accrue advantages by enact-
ing such policies even when other states have not. So most states need not wait
for global agreement on everything (or anything) to act. Reasonable national
policies to reduce some types of consumption or increase efficiencies—such as
carbon or energy taxes, product efficiency standards, or the reduction of ecologi-
cally damaging subsidies—can be effective absent global agreement about them.
Some states can and do act unilaterally. Others act in groups. In some areas of
energy and environmental policy, the European Union has demonstrated that
setting and implementing the globe’s most stringent policies can in fact serve to
advance (not limit) one’s economic and political interests.
11

States can also seek to work through existing or newly established interna-
tional organizations to set and implement standards and guidelines. These can
be imbedded in global international law, such as within international trade or
environmental agreements, or developed and promulgated by non-legally bind-
ing (or voluntary) initiatives such as those spearheaded by UN organizations. As
other contributions to this report argue, transnational and inter-state coopera-
tion often require effective institutions and organizations.
PROTECTING OR CONSUMING EACH OTHER?
If global sustainable development is also about improving the lives of the world’s
poorest and most marginalized, then addressing issues of overconsumption in
50 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
some societies cannot simply mean consigning others to perpetual, grinding
poverty. The challenge of greater sustainability—political, economic, and social—
is to ensure or engender a high quality of life for all of the nearly seven billion
people of today and the nine
to 10 billion expected by mid-
century, without exceeding
the capacity of our planet’s
ecosystems. As the list of
non-state-led and state-led
initiatives outlined above
illustrates, there is a grow-
ing menu of options facing
domestic and international actors in the global North and the South. It also illus-
trates that changes must occur in the public, private, and civil society sectors—
changes that produce more effective and more sustainable states and markets.
In sum, we can ask whether people—citizens—want a global politics designed to
protect humans and nature from exploitation, or a politics designed to facilitate
consumption of things, people, and nature. Informed consumer purchasing deci-
sions may slightly reduce negative implications of some individual purchases,
but they cannot substantially alter the foundational international economic and
political dynamics. Ethical shopping therefore should not be expected to sub-
stantially reduce human and natural exploitation or the violence and oppression
associated with resource markets on their own. When do people act as citizens,
rather than as consumers? Similar questions can be asked of NGOs, firms, non-
state governance, and states. The options listed above—and many more—require
engaged citizens at multiple levels of authority and across public, private, and
civil society sectors, if the character and outcomes of global politics and markets
are to be altered and transformed.
1 Parts of this argument are based on VanDeveer, S. D. 2011. Consumption, Commodity Chains and the Global
Environment in The Global Environment: Institutions, Law and Policy, Third Edition. R. Axelrod, S. D. VanDeveer, and
D. L. Downie (eds.). Washington D.C.: CQ Press.
2 Princen, T., M. Maniates, and K. Conca. 2002. Confronting Consumption. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
3 Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI). 2009. Overconsumption? Our use of the world’s natural resources.
Vienna: SERI. Available at http://seri.at/news/2009/09/24/overconsumption.
4 Worldwatch Institute. 2007. Vital Signs 2007–2008. New York: W. W. Norton & Company; Sperling, D. and
D. Gordon. 2009. Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
5 Abel, D. 2009. Battle to expand bottle law heats up. The Boston Globe, 8 October.
6 Stiglitz, J. 2006. Making Globalization Work. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
The challenge of greater sustainability—po-
litical, economic, and social—is to ensure or
engender a high quality of life for all of the
nearly seven billion people of today and the
nine to10 billion expected by mid-century,
without exceeding the capacity of our
planet’s ecosystems.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 51
7 Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. 2008. Global CO2 Emissions: Increase Continued in 2007.
Bilthoven: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Available at http://tinyurl.com/CO2increase.
8 Princen, T. et al., 2002; Princen, T. 2005. The Logic of Sufficiency. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Dauvergne, P. 2008.
The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Worldwatch In-
stitute. 2004. State of the World 2004: The Consumer Society. New York: W. W. Norton & Company; Pirages, D. and
K. Cousins (eds.). 2005. From Ecological Scarcity to Ecological Security: Exploring New Limits to Growth. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press.
9 SERI. 2009; WWF. 2008. Living Planet Report 2008. Switzerland: WWF International. Available at assets.
panda.org/downloads/living_planet_report_2008.pdf.
10 Figures compiled by the author.
11 Selin, H. and S. D. VanDeveer. 2006. Raising Global Standards: Hazardous Substances and E-Waste Manage-
ment in the European Union. Environment, 28(10): 6-17; Schreurs, M., H. Selin, and S. D. VanDeveer (eds.). 2009.
Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives. Aldershot: Ashgate.
52 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 53
6. Managing the Challenges of Interlocking Resources
by Bernice Lee
Environmental change and resource constraints are adding to the complexity of
international relations in an already turbulent world. The anticipated production
bottlenecks—in food, water, energy, and the production of other critical natural
resources and infrastructure—are bringing new geophysical, political, and eco-
nomic challenges, and creating new and hard-to-manage instabilities.
1
They also
have significant impacts on the global political economy, bringing new questions
in respect to international law and the management of international regimes, as
well as the distribution of resources.
Increasing globalization of supply chains—combined with higher incomes and
population growth, in particular in the major developing countries—has seen
both processing and consumption shift increasingly to developing countries.
A study by Deloitte and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness points to a “new
world order for manufacturing competitiveness” in less than a decade. Its Global
Manufacturing Competitiveness Index highlights the rise in the manufacturing
competitiveness of three countries in particular—China, India, and the Republic
of Korea (Korea).
2
The continued growth of manufacturing and consumption
hubs around the world, in particular in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), is
likely to lead to a consolidation and expansion of regional production networks.
With this diffusion of demand and production centers, promotion of sustain-
able consumption—through the market power of the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries’ consumers—will no longer be
enough to drive change down supply chains in the coming decades.
It is now widely understood that astronomical demand growth from an emerging
economy—driven by decades of industrialization and urbanization—is re-drawing the
landscape for resources, from minerals, energy, and food to water. Water and land
are likely to become increasingly important drivers of new investment decisions.
Industry and power generation will feel the effects of water stress, most directly
in the hydropower sector but also in nuclear and thermal power stations reliant
on water coolant systems and in a wide range of manufacturing industries. There
54 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
has also been renewed interest in issues relating to resource security, the environ-
ment, and political change. Neo-Malthusian concerns about over-consumption and
resource scarcities are not new; they have been around—and growing—since the
1960s, the most famous being the Club of Rome’s report titled The Limits to Growth.
3

The combined effect of this resources demand growth together with shifting wealth
to emerging economies is yet to be thoroughly analyzed and translated into policy
planning practices. Emerging Asian economies have doubled their share of global
output in the past two decades, for example. By 2030, non-OECD member coun-
tries as a group could account for as much as 57 percent of global gross domestic
product (GDP) on a purchasing-power parity basis.
4
In 2010, China overtook Japan
as the world’s second largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, even though its per
capita GDP—at U.S. $3,678—is still one-tenth of Japan’s. The increasingly blurred
dividing line between developed countries and the emerging economies is likely to
create new and difficult dynamics for the governance of the new green economy.
As traditional OECD importing countries decline as consumers in relative terms,
will their power as rule-setters in international markets and the global economy
fall correspondingly? Will the increasing dominance of the newcomers change
the business models and operational assumptions? Lessons can be drawn, for
example, from the oil and gas markets—manifest not least by the International
Energy Agency’s (IEA) moves to include China and India in its strategic supply
mechanism.
5
State-backed Asian resource investment strategies are changing the
business environment for competitors in extractive industries and other infra-
structure investments in developing countries. The traditional consumer and
producer blocs will be less able to influence oil prices over the mid to long term,
for example—and that will increase volatility.
6

Societal responses to resource threats—potentially exacerbated by climate
change impacts—will change the established patterns of relations between
producers and consumers of energy, food, and other natural resources. In
the transition to the global green economy, there will be winners and losers.
Before new models of global governance of resources are developed or old ones
adapted—each with different operational assumptions and a different mix of
consumer–producer dynamics—perceptions of insecurity will likely encour-
age stronger long-term strategic investments by the most import-dependent
countries across the sectors. Today, Asian countries already prioritize long-term
bilateral resource supply deals for oil, gas, and coal, sealed with political and
economic support. And the search for water is already one of the driving forces
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 55
in the recent wave of deals between some of the major emerging economies
and Arab Gulf states to secure land for agricultural production overseas.
As states and markets navigate their pathway towards delivering a global green
economy, policy-makers and businesses must have a firm grasp of the challenges
ahead in a resource-constrained world, including the possibility of a dramatic
change of paradigm vis-à-vis resources access and use. This paper will explore
three key dimensions that will pave the way for more responsible markets for a
global green economy.
THE SECURITY IMPACT OF A RESOURCES-CONSTRAINED WORLD
Food, water, and other resources are already facing serious pressures, driven
by demographic changes and shifting consumption patterns. Total consump-
tion on this scale would exceed the tolerance thresholds of ecosystems and
resources, whether cropland, rangeland, fisheries, or usable water.
7
Individuals
in the middle and upper classes increased resource consumption by more than
200 percent between 1960 and 2004.
8
The impact of water scarcity is also likely
to grow significantly in the future. By 2050, 75 percent of the global popula-
tion could face freshwater shortages.
9
Climate change impacts are expected to
exacerbate these pressures, although to what extent will depend upon the policy
choices that are made in the coming years.
These interlocking climate, resource, and development problems are increasingly
understood as key accelerators to the range of risks and vulnerabilities policy-
makers and citizens need to manage in the short, medium, and longer terms.
Especially in the developing world, water availability, energy security, and the
upward trend in costs for many resources together constitute significant new risks.
Despite increased recognition of the need to manage resource security and the poten-
tial political fallouts, these interlocking issues are rarely considered in a systematic
fashion by governments and industries. Following the financial crisis of 2008, the con-
sequences of bad policy choices—and the cost of inaction and policy failures—should
receive more attention. Policy planning runs the risk of preserving the prevailing
assumptions and mindsets in terms of risk management, especially when dealing
with complex issues with long-term time horizons and high scientific uncertainty.
At the policy level, the implications of dangerous climate change for security and
political stability are increasingly recognized by the foreign policy and defense
communities. The Center for Naval Analysis report says climate change can
56 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
become “a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of
the world…”
10
In 2008, the U.S. National Intelligence Council completed a new
classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten U.S. secu-
rity in the next 20 years by causing political instability, mass movements of refu-
gees, terrorism, or conflicts over water and other resources in specific countries.
11

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in early 2009 that an assessment completed
in 2007 by the Australian Defence Force concluded that climate change and rising
sea levels posed one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific; these impacts
might also spark a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice.
12
Risk management involves the consideration of extremely disruptive events and the
implications of policy failures and/or inaction. Most actors have yet fully to consider
and factor into their short- and long-term strategies the political, economic, and
security impacts of the worst-case scenarios, or of unlikely but highly consequen-
tial events triggered by climate, energy, food, and water crises (and the response
mechanisms to them). Environmental change-induced migration, for example,
could become yet another driver of future patterns of resource use. Forecasts for
the number of people moving because of environmental degradation and climate
change vary widely, ranging between 25 million and 1 billion, depending on which
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios occurs.
13

In the run-up to Rio+20, the international community can come together to com-
prehend the risks of business-as-usual planning and practices around resource
access, use, and management. First, a range of worst-case scenarios could be
developed to enhance understanding of potentially dangerous geo-political and
economic impacts of policy failures in this area. Second, the upcoming high-level
panel on resources could put forward a range of practical international mediation
mechanisms to mitigate or manage future resource-related conflicts.
RESOURCES SCRAMBLE FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES?
To move into a global green economy, new technologies are needed to meet a range
of goals. Most of the discussions on technologies focus on economic viability and
cost. However, moving to lower carbon options may not be a complete escape from
the security of supply issue. This means that in addition to considering the economic
viability of green options, we must also explore issues around material availability
and the politics of resources access. For example, the needed transformation of the
energy sector to meet climate and supply security concerns has been described
as the “third industrial revolution.” Currently available technologies can deliver
significant benefits, especially those relating to energy demand. But many new green
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 57
technologies and materials will need to be either developed or scaled up in the com-
ing decades, like renewable energy. In 2008, nearly one quarter of all investment in
new generation was in renewable energy (excluding large hydropower)—a fourfold
increase since 2003. These green technologies may require the use of a range of
materials in significantly greater volumes, as seen in Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1: Material Use of New Energy Sources
Source: Materials Innovation Institute, November 2009
14
Table 2: Material Use of Other Environmental Technologies
Source: Materials Innovation Institute, November 2009
Table 1: Material Use of New Energy Sources
Þrob|em 5o|ut|ons kaw mater|a|s (app||cat|on)
Iuture energy
supp|y

luel cells

ÞlaLlnum
Þalladlum
8are earLh meLals
CobalL
Pvbrld cars
Samarlum (permanenL maaneLs)
neodvmlum (hlah performance maaneLs)
Sllver (advanced elecLromoLor aeneraLor)
ÞlaLlnum aroup meLals (caLalvsLs)
AlLernaLlve enerales
Slllcon (solar cells)
Calllum (solar cells)
Sllver (solar cells, enerav collecLlon/
Lransmlsslon, hlah performance mlrrors)
Cold (hlah performance mlnors)
Lnerav sLoraae
LlLhlum (recharaeable baLLerles)
Zlnc (recharaeable baLLerles)
1anLalum (recharaeable baLLerles)
CobalL (recharaeable baLLerles)
Source: Materials Innovation Institute, November 2009
16
1ab|e 2: Mater|a| use of other env|ronmenta| techno|og|es
Lnergy
conservat|on
Advanced coollna Lechnoloales 8are earLh meLals
new lllumlnanLs llare earLh meLals (LLu. LCu. CLLu), lndlum
(LLu. LCu. CLLu), Calllum (LLu. LCu. CLLu)
Lnerav-savlna Llres lndusLrlal mlnerals
Super allovs (hlah efflclencv [eL enalnes) 8henlum
Lnv|ronmenta|
protect|on
Lmlsslons prevenLlon ÞlaLlnum aroup meLals
Lmlsslons purlflcaLlon Sllver, 8are earLh meLals
n|gh prec|s|on
mach|nes
nanoLechnoloav Sllver, 8are earLh meLals
I1 ||m|tat|ons MlnlaLurlzaLlon 1anLalum (MlcroLab soluLlons), 8uLhenlum
(MlcroLab soluLlons)
new l1 soluLlons lndlum (processors), 1unasLen (hlah
performance sLeel hardware)
8llu (hand-held consumer elecLronlcs) lndlum, 8are earLh meLals, Sllver
Source: MaLerlals lnnovaLlon lnsLlLuLe, november 2009
17

58 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
The development of new energy resources—as with the current options that they
seek to replace—comes with new material and resource risks.

These must be
considered in risk assessment of new technologies. The predicted availability
and price of a material will be an important consideration in the development of
a particular design of a technology and will ultimately determine a technology’s
viability, as will its environmental and resource-use implications.
Let’s take the example of rare earth metals (REMs), a group of 17 elements
whose unique properties make them indispensable in many advanced tech-
nologies, including clean energy.
15
High growth rates are forecasted for many
REMs. Those related to battery use, such as neodymium, are expected to grow
at 10 to 16 percent between 2008 and 2012, while those used in the manufac-
turing of batteries may grow between 15 and 20 percent per year.
16
The new,
more efficient wind turbines, using rare earth permanent magnet generators,
require approximately two tons of rare earth magnets per windmill. Currently,
China produces 97 percent of the world’s rare earth supply, almost 100 percent
of the associated metal production, and 80 percent of the rare earth magnets.
Within the next 5 to 10 years, growth in China’s domestic consumption will
leave no capacity for export. China recently imposed export restriction on a
range of REMs, citing domestic use for economic development as a reason,
which is creating tensions with the U.S. and the European Union.
17
Increasing awareness over the need for REMs has already triggered rapid sup-
ply responses: from the re-birth of metals recycling in Kosaka, Japan to new
plans to reopen or establish new rare earth mines in South Africa, Australia,
Canada, the United States, Vietnam, etc.
18
But trade tensions over access to
REMs illustrate the type of conflict that may proliferate in a resources-constrained
world. The increasing national control of resource governance, as in the oil
sector in the recent past, has placed restrictions on the global trade of some
materials with the associated impact on the material availability and/or price.
While many of these factors may only affect the individual manufacturer at
the current time, there are important considerations for policy-makers and the
wider business community.
Rio+20 provides an excellent opportunity for policy makers to come to grips
with the resources and materials dimensions of new technologies, and to
propose new public-private mechanisms in managing resources security for the
green economy. This may involve a range of voluntary agreements to share criti-
cal resources in exchange for knowledge transfer.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 59
MAKING MARKETS RESPONSIBLE FOR RESOURCES
FOR THE GREEN ECONOMY
Addressing resource security questions would require generating multiple public
goods from the same production systems or sectors. Unless incentives in interna-
tional markets are aligned towards both environmental and resource goals, even
well-meaning initiatives and efforts will not necessarily deliver the public policy
outcomes needed for the green economy.
Environment and resource risk-related exposure of companies and governments
will continue to come under increasing public scrutiny in the coming decades.
Voluntary or mandatory reporting is increasingly common on carbon and is likely
to extend to cover water, biodiversity and other environment-related factors.
As awareness of resource and environmental stresses continues to rise, innova-
tion and investment in green goods and services is set to expand rapidly; com-
panies and governments that are moving fastest will gain significant competitive
advantages. Water constraints, for example, will provide business opportunities
through innovation in water-efficient technologies and practices.
This race for green solutions is already evident in low-carbon sectors. It is also
critical for policy-makers to reaffirm the key role of an open trading system
in delivering cost-effective green goods and services. Markets for low-carbon
energy products are likely to be worth at least $500 billion per year by 2050,
and perhaps much more, according to the Stern Review. Listed companies in
the climate change sector already surpassed the Stern estimates in 2008—
reaching a global turnover of $534 billion. It also exceeds the $530 billion turn-
over of the aerospace and defense sector.
19
HSBC recently forecasted that the
low-carbon energy market will triple to $2.2 trillion by 2020.
20
While shifting economic power may erode the strength of OECD consumers in
greening the supply chain, interdependence in global supply chains means that
the market power of green consumers can continue to be harnessed in driv-
ing sustainable business practices and innovations strategies. On the occasion
of Rio+20, progressive governments, businesses, and civil society leaders can
co-convene a High-Level Panel on Sustainable Supply Chains to put forward a
transformative vision that takes into account environmental as well as equity
concerns. This could include piloting a comparable set of criteria for labeling and
other tools for specific products.
60 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
1 Lee, B. 2009. Managing the interlocking climate and resource challenges. International Affairs, 85(6): 1101–1116.
2 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and U.S. Council on Competitiveness. 2010. Global Manufacturing Competitiveness
Index, pp. 13–16.
3

Meadows, D. H., J. Randers, and E. E. Behrens III. 1974. The Limits to Growth. London: Pan.
4 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2010. Perspectives on Global Development
2010: Shifting Wealth, Executive Summary, p. 23.
5 International Energy Agency (IEA). 2007. Press release, “As China and India become major players in global
energy markets, it makes sense to share views with them on our common energy challenges,” Nobuo Tanaka,
Executive Director of the IEA. Paris, December 6.
6 Lloyds and Chatham House. 2010. Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Businesses.
Lloyd’s 360 Report.
7 Stockholm International Water Institute, International Food Policy Research Institute, World Conservation
Union, and International Water Management Institute. 2005. Let It Reign: The New Water Paradigm for Global Food
Security. Final Report to the Commission on Sustainable Development meeting (CSD-13). Stockholm: Stockholm
International Water Institute.
8 Taylor, M. 2008. Economic growth puts global resources under pressure. World Finance, May 23.
9 Hightower, M. and S. A. Pierce. 2008. The energy challenge. Nature 452: 285–6.
10 U.S. Center for Naval Analyses. 2007. National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. Alexandria, VA:
Center for Naval Analyses.
11 Fingar, T. 2008. Written testimony by Thomas Fingar, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, to U.S.
Congress, “National intelligence assessment on the national security implications of global climate change to
2030,” 25 June. Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University. 2008. Press
release, “Climate change may challenge national security, classified report warns.” New York, June 26.
12 Taylor, R. 2009. Climate change threatens Pacific, Arctic conflicts. Reuters, 6 January. See also Borgerson, S. G.
2008. Arctic meltdown. Foreign Affairs, 87(2): 63–77.
13 International Organization for Migration (IOM). 2009. Migration, climate change and the environment, IOM
Policy Brief. Geneva: IOM.
14 Material Innovation Institute. 2009. Material Scarcity Platform in the Netherlands, November. Delft: Material
Innovation Institute.
15 Smith, M. 2010. Written testimony, Mark A. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Molycorp Minerals, LLC. House
Science and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, “Rare Earth Minerals and 21st
Century Industry,” March 16.
16 New Energy Finance. 2009. Unearthing the Rare Earth Market for Clean Energy Investors. January 15.
17 China has imposed export restriction on Neodymium (Nd), Europium (Eu), Cerium (Ce) and Lathanum (La) to
35,000 tons per year, and to completely stop the export of Thulium (Tm), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Yttrium
(Y) and Lutetium (Lu). See Smith, M. 2010. Written Testimony, Mark A. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Molycorp
Minerals, LLC House Science and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, “Rare
Earth Minerals and 21st Century Industry,” March 16.
18 Tabuchi, H. 2010. Japan Recycles Minerals from Used Electronics. The New York Times, October 4.
19 Harvey, F. 2009. Low-carbon industries come of age. Financial Times, September 17.
20 HSBC Global Research. 2010. Sizing the Low Carbon Economy, September.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 61
7. Climate and Energy
by Saleemul Huq
A future green economy needs to avoid dangerous global climate change
and do so within the context of sustainable development. The main features
of what the global energy
system should look like
under those circumstances
are now generally agreed
upon. Over the next two to
three decades, the global
energy mix—that is, the
combination of energy
sources powering our society—must be transformed from a system mostly
dependent on fossil fuels to a portfolio that emits significantly less carbon.
The transition, to be completed by 2050, needs to go through a low-carbon
phase in the first two decades—we cannot wait until 2050 to make all the
changes. These time constraints are based on the science of climate change, as
assessed periodically by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
and particularly the estimates of global emission reductions need a chance
to limit global temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius; that is,
reductions of 80 percent or more compared to 1990 emission levels.
With regard to the global governance of climate change (and hence energy) there
is a well-established global treaty, namely the United Nations Framework Conven-
tion on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was signed and ratified by practically
all countries of the world in the early 1990s. Under the UNFCC, all countries have
agreed to protect the global climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance
with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
1

They have recognized the potential dangers of global warming due to the continued
emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO
2
) from burning of fossil
fuels, but also other warming gases such as methane (CH
4
) and nitrous oxide (N
2
O).
They have also agreed to take actions to reduce their emissions to prevent danger-
Over the next two to three decades, the
global energy mix—that is, the combination
of energy sources powering our society—
must be transformed from a system mostly
dependent on fossil fuels to a portfolio that
emits significantly less carbon.
62 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
ous climate change. Furthermore, according to the principle noted above, parties
to the UNFCCC agreed that developed countries should take the lead in combating
climate change.
The devil, as always, is in the details. For example, which countries need to act first,
by how much, and at what rate?
2
These questions remain fraught with geopoliti-
cal tensions, with the main divide occurring between the rich countries (named in
Annex 1 of the UNFCCC) and the rest of the world (called the non-Annex 1 countries
in climate change negotiations parlance).
3
There are also some differences among
developed countries, best illustrated by the divergences between the U.S. and the
EU; and among developing countries, with BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, and
China) capturing, for example, most climate investment, leaving some of the poorer
and most vulnerable countries feeling left out.
This essay outlines a few ideas for possible ways to achieve that energy transi-
tion in governance and institutional terms and within the context of what we are
now calling a “green economy.” These ideas are based on two decades of involve-
ment in and observation of the UNFCCC’s development and implementation, as
well as debates regarding the failure to achieve the Convention’s stated goals of
preventing some level of dangerous climate change.
FROM BURDEN TO OPPORTUNITY
The failure of global institutions in dealing effectively with the climate change
problem under the UNFCCC (despite some limited successes such as the Kyoto
Protocol) has been mainly due to the prevailing paradigm under which the
weaning of national energy systems from fossil fuels towards cleaner (non-pollut-
ing) sources has been seen as a burden rather than an opportunity. The “costs” of
mitigation are highlighted in nearly every policy document on mitigation.
4
Yet,
the (economic) opportunities of mitigation are seldom discussed.
Thus the main arguments have been between the rich countries (mainly the U.S.,
which is the richest and biggest polluting country) and the developing world
(primarily China, which has a fast-growing economy that has already made it the
world’s biggest net emitter of greenhouse gases). This divide manifested itself in
the spectacular failure of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009.
Copenhagen was supposed to achieve the agreement that would become the
successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. Instead it achieved nothing but a rather
meaningless “Copenhagen Accord” with limited legal and doubtful moral value.
5
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 63
This failure stemmed from the reluctance of the two biggest emitters, namely
the U.S. and China, to agree to meaningful reductions in their emissions. As long
as they and others continue to see the short-term costs of reducing emissions as
paramount to the longer-term benefits of avoiding dangerous climate change,
there is little likelihood of achieving an ambitious global treaty. And definitely
not the kind of post-2012 (when the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol
expire) treaty that most people had hoped for in Copenhagen.
This situation can change once countries like China and India realize that a
global temperature rise of over three degrees Celsius (which is where the world
is currently headed) will cause very severe impacts to people, agriculture, and
ecosystems in their own countries.
6
With this realization, they are likely to also
appreciate that by taking action to avoid such a fate (for example, by not tapping
the vast coal reserves they are sitting on) they may also be hastening the transi-
tion to a low-carbon energy mix. Even if switching to a carbon-free energy mix
might cost more in the short term, the transition is laden with future opportunity.
There are already some signs (particularly in China) that they are beginning to
realize this potential and are preparing to become the leaders of the upcoming
post-fossil fuel world.
But the opportunities that exist in the post-fossil fuel world are not limited to
only these very large economies. Indeed, if the world is to see a massive energy
transition, it could create
opportunities for all countries.
While it is true that large
uncertainties can loom within
such a massive change, it is
also true that large oppor-
tunities exist. Costs of wind
and solar energy are already
beginning to decrease, and these cost reductions are creating opportunities for
energy production in countries that have hitherto been energy importers.
Although their stance in global negotiations remains tentative, a number of large
oil producers have also begun exploring opportunities in non-fossil fuel energy
production. They know better than anyone else the benefits of being major
energy producers, and if a transition is to be made they do not wish to stay out
of whatever the new “green economy” will look like. A case in point is the tiny
Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is also a major oil producer. Not only is Abu Dhabi
Indeed, if the world is to see a massive en-
ergy transition, it could create opportunities
for all countries. While it is true that large
uncertainties can loom within such a mas-
sive change, it is also true that large oppor-
tunities also exist.
64 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
boasting a massive effort towards creating a zero-emission city and embracing
cutting-edge green technologies, it now also hosts the headquarters of the Inter-
national Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)—a signal to the world of its inter-
est in green energy, and to itself of where the future is headed. Indeed, the fact
that there is now such an agency is itself an indicator of the recognition that an
energy transition is now not only inevitable, but also that it must be institution-
ally managed if it is to be globally relevant.
THE SECOND AND THIRD BILLION ARE KEY
My second point stems from the fact that an overwhelming majority of the
world’s past and current greenhouse gas emissions—if assigned to people by
taking wealth (with associated high consumption and hence high emissions)
into account—can be attributed to the richest one billion people (most of whom
live in the rich world but with significant numbers also in the developing world).
Making these one billion people change their high-consumption lifestyles will
take either major behavioral changes (which is very unlikely in the short term)
or drastic national policies to reduce fossil-fuel dependence (for which their
governments have not shown any political willingness so far).
So perhaps we will be better off focusing not on this top one billion, but instead
moving our institutional attention to the second (and third) billion richest people
on the planet—a large proportion of whom are urban dwellers in the faster-
developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Brazil.
These two to three billion also aspire to the same high-consumption lifestyle, but
they have yet to attain it. They may well be the real architects of a new “green
economy” for the future. If they follow the path to lifestyles that include multiple
cars, air conditioners, flying across the world, and diets high in meat, and if
their energy needs are met by investments (which are largely still to be made
over the next decade or two) in fossil-fuel systems, then we will be locked into a
fossil-dependent future for a very long time. And that would mean any hopes of
stabilizing stratospheric carbon would be doomed.
7

On the other hand, if these two or three billion could be provided with a good
life and high development—a legitimate aspiration on their part—by investing in
non-fossil fuel energy, then much of the future greenhouse gas emissions may
be avoided and a real “green economy” enabled. This would need innovative
thinking in terms of technologies as well as policies to allow these populations
to leapfrog from relative poverty to improvements in quality of life without the
associated high per capita carbon footprint of the richest billion.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 65
The global governance challenge is to create institutions that can unleash such
innovative thinking. While most of our existing institutions are caught in think-
ing about mitigation and carbon management, what we need are institutions
that can think in terms of the development requirements of those whose needs
remain unmet today. That is, we need institutions that focus on this middle two
to three billion and are concerned about triggering an energy transition that can
meet the legitimate energy aspirations of this critical cohort.
THE MOST VULNERABLE MAY LEAD THE WAY
The main victims of the failure of the global leaders assembled in Copenhagen
last December are the poorest people living in the poorest countries—mostly in
Africa and Asia. They are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of even a
two-degree global temperature rise. The fact that the emissions of the poorest
billion humans living in the poorest hundred countries account for less than five
percent of global emissions only highlights the inequity and injustice involved in
the climate change problem—namely, that the rich have caused the problem but
the poor will suffer the consequences first and hardest.
Nevertheless, some of these poor and vulnerable countries (such as the Mal-
dives, Costa Rica, and Bangladesh) are leading the world in tackling climate
change at home (both through adaptation as well as mitigation). The Maldives
(whose emissions are miniscule) has decided to become carbon neutral in the
next decade. This is not because their emissions are large or because they are
being made to do it, but because it is the right thing to do. Moreover, they are
sending a proactive signal to the rest of the world about what needs to—and can
indeed—be done.
Thus the rest of the world may actually be able to learn lessons from some of
the poorest countries on the planet when it comes to making the transition to
a global green economy. Indeed, there is also a conceptual logic to this. Institu-
tionally, and in terms of the transition to sustainable development, the poorest
countries are also the countries that are least locked into the fossil fuel economy,
and therefore most able to change, and likely to do so at less cost. The problem,
of course, is that precisely because of their poverty, even these lesser costs may
be well beyond their means. This is where the argument for assertive global gov-
ernance comes in. Institutions of sustainable development should be investing
in these countries to speed up the transition to cleaner energy, and should do so
for development reasons much more than for climate reasons. Therein lies the
“win-win.” Global governance investments in cleaner energy in poor countries
66 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
yield development benefits and should be both perceived and made as sustain-
able development investments.
CONCLUSIONS
A shift towards the green economy will require a transition of the energy system
to deal with climate change, specifically making the energy system independent
from fossil fuels at the global level. This shift will need to occur in the context of
sustainable development when global governance institutions are shaped to view
energy as a development issue but without devaluing its carbon implications.
This article has offered three possible ideas towards this goal.
First, countries need to recognize the opportunities imbedded in energy tran-
sitions. As long as climate change action is considered a “cost,” prospects for
action will be dim. When climate action is considered instead as both cheaper
than dealing with the consequences and an opportunity for leadership in the
post-fossil fuel world, then there will be hope for action.
Second, most of today’s emissions are by the richest billion people on Earth.
But it is the second and third billion people, mostly in rapidly developing
countries, who may hold the key to speeding up a transition. These are the
populations for whom the new investments in energy are being made. How
these investments are made will determine whether we are locked in a carbon-
intensive or a decarbonized world.
Finally, we must not underestimate the role of the poorest and most vulnerable
countries in the world. We think of them as the likely “victims” of global climate
change, but they can also act as change agents. While their emissions may
be globally negligible, their climate-change actions and policies may serve as
example and inspiration to the rest of nations. More importantly, assisting them
in their own energy transitions will create development benefits for them and
could be a cost-effective means of triggering the larger global transition.
All three ideas require a shift in the global governance of climate change to
move away from its primarily carbon-based and principally mitigation focus
to a more developmental focus. For this to happen, institutional arrangements
are needed that will focus on sustainable development. It is only in the con-
text of sustainable development that a “green economy” can be conceived or
implemented.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 67
1 Najam, A., S. Huq, and Y. Sokona. 2003. Climate negotiations beyond Kyoto: Developing countries concerns
and interests. Climate Policy, 3(3): 221–231(11).
2 Jinnah, S., D. Bushey, M. Muñoz, and K. Kulovesi. 2009. Tripping points: Barriers and bargaining chips on the
road to Copenhagen. Environmental Research Letters, 4(3): 4003.
3 Sokona, Y., A. Najam, and S. Huq. 2002. Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Views from the South.
London: International Institute for Environment and Development.
4 For example, Stern, N. 2006. Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer-
sity Press.
5 See for instance 2010 Climate Policy, 10(6).
6 Ronga, F. 2010. Understanding developing country stances on post-2012 climate change negotiations: Compara-
tive analysis of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. Energy Policy, 38 (8): 4582–4591, Tables 3, 4, 5, and 15.
7 Satterthwaite, D. 2009. The implications of population growth and urbanization for climate change. London: Inter-
national Institute for Environment and Development.
68 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 69
8. Transforming Global Forest Governance
by Hans Hoogeveen and Patrick Verkooijen
Since sustainable development entered the international agenda in the mid-
1980s, sustainable development governance has evolved rapidly. The gover-
nance system we have today reflects both the successes and failures of this
process. There is growing awareness that the present system of development is
rapidly and irreversibly eroding all three pillars of sustainable development: eco-
nomic, social, and environmental. The current governance’s high maintenance
needs, internal redundancies, and inherent inefficiencies have combined to have
the perverse effect of impeding the achievement of sustainable development
worldwide.
1
Against this background, we characterize global forest governance
(GFG) as a subset of the broader sustainable development agenda. In this paper,
we take as our point of analytical departure that GFG is not only a cornerstone
of sustainable development, but that to understand the complexities, challenges,
and nuances of GFG, it has to be placed within the evolving concept of sustain-
able development.
The GFG system we have today is one of mixed results.
2
On one hand, there is
a high awareness of threats to forests and numerous efforts have emerged to
address them globally. Although sustainable forest management has been high on
the international agenda since the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED) in 1992, although a “non legally binding instrument
on sustainable management of all forests” was agreed upon, and although we
spend many billions of dollars yearly on regional, national, and local programs
for sustainable forest management, we are still not able to stop or reverse the
loss of 13 million hectares of forests per year. So, ironically, not withstanding
the rather spectacular growth in awareness and initiatives, the GFG system has
outgrown its original design and intent in terms of addressing the problems and
societal goals that led to its creation.
3
We assert that global forest governance and
diplomacy is facing the same problems and challenges as those of other aspects
of sustainable development governance. These challenges relate to the increas-
ing complexity of GFG: (i) complexity of issues, interlinkages, fragmentation,
70 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
and proliferation of arenas, (ii) complexity of actors and lack of cooperation and
coordination, and (iii) complexity of instruments and lack of implementation.
This paper argues that instead of asking how the fragmented and complex GFG
system can be restructured into a top-down regime, reformers should embrace
complexity; rather than restructuring from the bottom up, we suggest build-
ing upon the existing regime complex and designing incremental changes to
the existing mix of regime elements, thus overcoming their fragmentation. In
sum, this paper seeks to do two things. First, it introduces the complex and
fragmented institutional configuration of international forest policy. Second, it
attempts to identify lessons learned and to develop a range of recommendations
if the world were to construct a truly “green economy” over the next 20 to 40
years, building upon the analysis of GFG.
COMPLEXITY OF ISSUES
As many commentators have argued, a paradigm shift is needed in the way land
is used and commodities are produced. Demand for agricultural commodities
and timber will continue to rise as the world population grows and becomes
wealthier. The world today faces one of the biggest challenges of the 21st cen-
tury: how to feed nine billion
people in 2050 in the face of
climate change, economic
and financial crises, and grow-
ing competition for the use of
natural resources. As a result,
the competing claims for land
use will increase the pressure
on forests worldwide when the potential of agricultural productivity enhance-
ment is not fully captured. In the absence of an incentive system, in a “business
as usual” world, it is estimated that around 60 percent of tropical forests are at
risk of deforestation over the long term.
4
Improvements in agriculture productiv-
ity and the sustainable management of forests need to play a key role in GFG.
In this context, it is important to realize that forest issues are complex and have
multiple perspectives and linkages to the full range of sustainable development
issues, such as poverty reduction and livelihoods, trade and economic develop-
ment, security, biodiversity, and climate change. To handle this complexity, GFG
has shifted over time to better address emerging priorities. Looking at GFG, the
emergence of new dominant ideas have shaped—and reshaped—forest policy.
It is important to realize that forest issues are
complex and have multiple perspectives and
linkages to the full range of sustainable devel-
opment issues, such as poverty reduction and
livelihoods, trade and economic development,
security, biodiversity, and climate change.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 71
Over the last 40 years, these shifts have transformed forest policy from a “com-
modity issue” into a “biodiversity issue,” “a sustainable development issue,” and
“a human rights issue,” among others.
5
It is therefore clear that the system of GFG
impacts—and is impacted by—much more than just the forest sector or those living
inside the forests. It is connected with human well-being, both for forest- and
non-forest-dwellers, international trade, human health, economic growth and
development, natural resources and ecosystem health, and human security.
This complexity challenges the current system of GFG and does not allow for
continued “siloed” governance responses or single-lens viewpoints of forest issues.
A critical determinant of success is to manage, rather than eliminate, complexity,
and apply a coherent approach to address the broad range of issues therein. As
we will argue below, this will require a new governance approach that matches
the complexity of our management system to the complexity of the problem.
Success depends on the development of such new approaches to governance.
COMPLEXITY OF ACTORS
Global debates on sustainable development—including debates on forests—have
been largely characterized as a collective debate between the rich and poor coun-
tries, along the North/South divide.
6
This dichotomous view has largely centered
on binary distinctions between the North and the South, or—in the forest con-
text—countries with tropical forests with high rates of deforestation and countries
with boreal and temperate forests with low deforestation rates. As such, it has
resulted in high tensions, difficult-to-bridge divisions, and a general inability to
look at forest issues as a whole. Until now, GFG has been highly state-oriented. A
lack of coherency in state approaches in the international arena adds to the fail-
ure of the current GFG. This also accounts for the lack of real involvement from
the private sector, civil society, and NGOs in the negotiation and decision-making
processes. Last but not least, the myriad of international organizations in a cur-
rent struggle to position themselves makes the system even more complex.
GFG, by its very nature, includes a vast array of actors that vary widely in their
type, specific interests, and goals. They represent a wide range of entities—from
global institutions to local civic groups, national governments to indigenous
peoples, and large multinational businesses to small landholders dependent
on forest products. As demonstrated in scholarly work on revolving complex-
ity theory, actors within the GFG system do not appreciate complexity and
non-linearity. Complexity is regarded as a source of failure and as something
that should be reduced or “fixed.”
7
However, actors connect which each other in
72 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
myriad ways around multiple components of the evolving GFG agenda. There is
nearly full consensus among scholars as well as practitioners of GFG on the need
to incorporate a broader array of actors—beyond state actors—and their wider
range of interests for more effective global governance.
8
Discussions couched in
the language of “multi-stakeholder involvement,” “public-private partnerships,”
or “broad participation” all emanate from the realization that meaningful global
action requires more than the participation of states. States are no less important
today than they were in the past, but they are no longer the only actor group
that influences global challenges.
9
While states once played the dominant role
in global governance, as issues have multiplied and the interconnections among
them have grown more complex, other actors, including international organi-
zations; private sector, civil society organizations; and consumers, have also
become significant actors in designing and implementing the system of GFG.
COMPLEXITY OF POLICY INSTRUMENTATION
The multiplicity of issues, users, uses, and views of forests has led to myriad
governance mechanisms, instruments, and diverse approaches to the implemen-
tation and enforcement of sustainable forest management. The proliferation of
international instruments, especially treaties or conventions concerning GFG, and
the lack of means of implementation have complicated the issue, making effec-
tive governance more difficult at all levels. Scholars and policy practitioners have
become increasingly concerned about the “messiness” of the GFG system. Among
the issues of concern, the following themes are identified as having special
relevance to explaining the ineffectiveness of the current system of GFG:
• Scale of governance/subsidiarity. Political decisions are being negotiated in
new modes of governance that depart from conventional, hierarchical legisla-
tion using regulations and directives. Based on previous analysis, however, we
argue that GFG has been too focused at the apex, or the global policy level,
even when issues of actual implementation are neither best understood nor
best implemented at that level. Furthermore, it is important to realize that
UN headquarters discussions generally tend to operate in a particular logic of
global inter-state politics.
10

• Treaty congestion is a prominent problem afflicting GFG. Over the course of a
few decades, the GFG system has created messiness, incoherence, and confusion
that incites demands for centralization in decision-making. Furthermore, a lack
of means of implementation, especially funds, made real implementation almost
impossible. Negotiators mainly focus on Oversees Development Assistance (ODA)
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 73
while other available funds are never looked at. Only recently has the search for
new and additional resources, as well as innovative approaches, started.
11

• Institutional and policy fragmentation has resulted from policy being
dispersed not only among ever-more-specialized treaty bodies, such as the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or
the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), but also geographically as the
institutions managing these policies get fragmented by having to operate in
different political, normative, and geographical contexts.
• Negotiation fatigue is increasing and states, especially developing countries,
struggle to meet institutional demands as the number of institutions and interna-
tional agreements increases. A general sense of negotiation fatigue is now appar-
ent among seasoned sustainable development negotiators. Reasons behind this
include missing unified concepts or methodology, a variable sense of urgency, lack
of political support, lack of means of implementation, and lack of leadership.
12

TRANSFORMING GFG: A CALL FOR NEW DIPLOMACY
As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, the world faces mount-
ing challenges characterized by the intensifying interconnectedness of global and
regional issues. These challenges, as introduced above, are particularly pertinent
in the realm of GFG. How, then, do we move towards creating better decisions and
more effective institutions for the global governance of forests? Putting in place an
effective GFG governance system requires taking a long-term view of where we are
going and where we need to be. It also means starting now with what is immedi-
ately possible while building transition pathways to what is ultimately necessary.
In this, we assert that imperfections or uncertainties are no excuse for inaction or
short-sightedness, but rather a reason for vision and innovation.
The record of attempted replacement strategies at the international level in
order to create an integrated, legally binding forest regime has not been promis-
ing. The most promising alternative to designing a global forest governance
system that addresses the multiple societal objectives is not to replace the
existing regime complex, but rather to manage the existing governance system
better. To do this, we offer two propositions and five building blocks collectively
comprising a transformed system of GFG:
• First, with any given challenge, the complexity of the solution has to match the
complexity of the problem. The current GFG system has the tendency to simplify
74 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
the problem in order to make the problem “more manageable.” Our assertion
is that effective GFG will come not from addressing any one (or a few) of these
elements, but from systematically tackling these myriad elements of global gov-
ernance together and, more importantly, the linkages between them. However,
addressing these linkages makes the global governance of forests what social
scientists call a “wicked problem”
13
: a problem which is inherently complex and
to which there are no simple solutions because of complex interconnections.
• The second proposition flows directly from the above and posits the need for
a “new diplomacy” that recognizes not only the inherent complexity of the
issue but also the changed realities of GFG. Diplomacy provides us with the
context and tools for global governance. The nature of the forest issue, and its
many complex inter-linkages to a whole host of other issues (climate change,
biodiversity, trade, etc.), raises challenges for traditional practices of state
diplomacy with its focus on single solutions to complex problems.
In the context of these propositions, building on the analysis of GFG, the following
building blocks must be designed if the world is to construct a truly “green econ-
omy” over the next 20 to 40 years. The points we raise here are especially pertinent
in the context of forests, but they are not unique to the forest issue. Indeed, it is
our contention that forests are not atypical at all. Instead, they are an exemplar of
a new set of complex global problems (including, for example, climate change,
global finance, and food security) that are calling for an alternative approach to
diplomacy—an approach that embraces the complexity of today’s problems, is not
state-centric, involves a multitude of stakeholders, operates differently at different
policy scales, and seeks an array of appropriate toolkits rather than single solutions.
This alternative approach towards a green economy—which we label “a new diplo-
macy for global forest governance”—consists of the following five building blocks.
1. Appropriate Scale and Subsidiarity
As we claimed above, the system of GFG has been too focused on the global level.
The recognition that not everything can be resolved from within the UN system
implies two very important aspects in how a new model for global forest gover-
nance might operate. First, it implies that while not all issues can be resolved from
within the UN, some issues can—and, maybe, some issues can only be resolved
from there. Second, it implies that a first step in the new diplomacy on global for-
est governance should be to determine what the appropriate level of discourse and
action is for which discussion (i.e., the principle of subsidiarity).
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 75
2. Developing Institutional Space
Following other scholarly work, we assert that the system of GFG has evolved
into something far more complex than it was even recently.
14
Based on our anal-
ysis, we believe that the evolution continues and is likely to continue into the
future.
15
The proliferation of arenas where forest governance is being discussed
could lead to significant management problems. While multiple arenas provide
the ability to deal with different levels of the complexity at different forums,
they also require a system of inter-arena coordination. We claim that any efforts
to “manage” all the myriad issues related to forests (agriculture, climate change,
security etc.) within a single institutional framework will lead to an ineffective
governance system. An alternative model would focus on a governance system
that can create enough coherence, interaction, and coordination between the
various arenas that they all act towards a common goal.
3. Deeper Stakeholder Participation
For a GFG system to become more effective, we assert that we need new and
innovative ways of thinking about what “participation” in GFG really means
for different actors. A critical determinant for success for a more effective GFG
system is to invest in a new diplomacy that allows multiple opportunities for
multiple actors; here the notion is to provide different actors with the ability to
be involved at the levels where they have the most competence and capacity to
influence GFG. Our proposition is not to categorically exclude some actors from
global diplomacy. At the same time, we should depart from the widely shared
notion that “all relevant stakeholders” should be involved in all policy decisions.
4. Policy Instrumentation: Development of a Portfolio Approach
From nearly 20 years of accumulated experience in trying to negotiate a “treaty,”
we now know that an overarching agreement that addresses all the related issues
is unlikely. We assert that the complexity issues and the myriad linkages to other
challenging issues—such as climate change—militate against a single treaty solution
and instead call for a more nuanced set of cross-linkages with other issues and the
conventions and treaties that govern them. We claim that the governance challenge
for the future is not one of negotiating a new grand instrument, but of coordinat-
ing multiple existing and new initiatives. The fixation with searching for hard law
solutions needs to be nuanced with recognition that an array of soft law instruments
might be more effective than a single, comprehensive hard law instrument. Based
on our earlier research, such a “portfolio approach” could consist of using a com-
76 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
bination of initiatives to raise a variety of resources including monetary resources,
knowledge resources, capacity development, public support, and awareness-raising
for effective global action on forests.
16
To be effective, such a portfolio approach
requires adaptive governance in order to adjust to new conditions flexibly.
5. Leadership
Our final building block centers around the notion of leadership and its impact
on the system of GFG. Much scholarly work has underscored the importance
of effective leadership in global public goods arrangements.
17
Leaders in the
global forest governance arena are neither representatives of hegemony who
can impose their will on others, nor ethically motivated actors who seek to
fashion workable institutional arrangements as contributions to the common
good. Effective leadership requires a truly global and inclusive mindset to turn
the notion of traditional diplomacy on its head, building upon the recognition
that the complexity of our evolving and polycentric governance systems is here
to stay. In this, the leadership required has to be bold and innovative enough
because the long-term challenges of sustainable development are big enough.
1 Najam, A., M. Papa, and N. Taiyab. 2006. Global Environmental Governance: A reform agenda. Winnipeg, Canada:
International Institute for Sustainable Development.
2 Humphreys, D. 2006. Logjam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance. London: Earthscan.
3 Hoogeveen, H. and P. Verkooijen. 2010. Transforming Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Lessons Learned from
Global Forest Governance. Wageningen University Dissertation.
4 Terrestrial Carbon Group. 2009. Roadmap for Terrestrial Carbon Science, Policy Brief 7, Discussion Draft.
5 Arts, B. 2008. Global Governance, NGOs and the Politics of Scale. Assen: Van Gorcum.
6 Najam, A., L. Christopoulou, and W. Moomaw. 2004. The Emergent “System” of Global Environmental Gover-
nance: A Reform Agenda. Global Environmental Politics, 4(4): 23–25.
7 Teisman, G., A. van Buuren, and L. Gerrits. 2008. Managing Complex Systems: Dynamics, Self-Organization and
Coevolution in Public Investments. London: Routledge.
8 Young, O. 1994. International Governance: Protecting the Environment in a Stateless World. Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press.
9 Najam et al. 2004.
10 Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. 2010.
11 Hoogeveen, H., J. S. Maini, W. Moomaw, A. Najam, and P. Verkooijen. 2008. Designing a Forest Financing
Mechanism (FFM): A Call for Bold, Collaborative & Innovative Thinking. Medford, MA: Tufts University.
12 Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. 2010.
13 Rittel, H . and M. Weber. 1973. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. In Policy Sciences 4: 155–173.
14 Najam et al. 2006.
15 Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. 2010.
16 Hoogeveen et al. 2008.
17 Frohlich, N., J. Oppenheimer, and O. R. Young. 1971. Political Leadership and Collective Goods. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 77
9. Transitioning to a Green Economy:
Citizens and Civil Society
by Paul Wapner
The need to build a green economy is obvious. Much of the world produces,
buys, sells, and uses goods and services in ways that enhance injustice and
undermine the organic infrastructure that supports life on earth.
Civil society plays a key role in prodding societies toward a just and green future.
While far from enlightened or powerful enough to single-handedly create a green
economy, civil society, nonetheless, represents a necessary component of transi-
tion. This paper briefly outlines the promise of civil society. It begins by describ-
ing the components of a green economy and the obstacles toward bringing one
about. It then explains analytically the potentialities of civil society and offers a
set of specific initiatives for enhancing civil efforts to build a green economy.
WHAT IS A GREEN ECONOMY?
A green economy ensures fair use of ecological resources and sinks at re-generational
and bio-assimilation rates. Building such an economy entails the following
components:
1. Full-cost pricing: Incorporate ecological degradation into the cost of goods
and services (with compensation for the poor).
2. Waste = Food: Design production to reuse all pre- and post-consumer waste
as industrial or biological inputs.
1

3. Sustainable ethic: Foster cultures that recognize ecological scarcity and
inspire consumers and producers to desire only what is most necessary and
ecologically sustainable.
4. Progressive green taxes: Tax resource and sink use instead of income.
5. Wealth = Environmental Health: Create measures of value that preserve the
intrinsic worth of nature.
78 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
OBSTACLES
The rich rule the world. Economic power too easily translates into political and
cultural power; thus we have financier rather than philosopher or otherwise
enlightened kings. This raises troubling questions about transitioning to a green
economy. Can the rich always know what is best for themselves, much less
the poor or our common planet? If their wealth results largely from industries
and practices that undermine ecological stability, will the rich alter economic
structures? Furthermore, insofar as most people’s short-term economic fate is
associated with the continued well-being of the rich, can a green transformation
occur when most of us are implicated in ecological degradation?
Further complications include the specific challenge of incorporating social and
environmental justice concerns into the world economy. Economies operate
largely according to supply and demand, and thus they are often tone deaf to
social justice and ecological
protection. Justice influences
economic calculation only
when extra-market forces
are extraordinarily power-
ful and governments impose
economic restrictions on
unfair practices. Ecological constraints only breach market dynamics in the form
of prices that rarely represent actual ecological costs. Consequently, we face a
situation in which extra-market forces must be marshaled on behalf of a green
economy, even though few forms of power are more commanding and expan-
sive in scope than market ones.
CIVIL SOCIETY
Building a green economy thus rests on embedding the global financial system
within a broader socio-ecological frame of reference and practice. We need to
cultivate a vibrant extra-market realm of life that gives relevant and effective
expression to non-commercial concerns—principally focused on social justice
and environmental sanity. This is a tall order because, as mentioned, economic
power is often hegemonic, with the ability to dictate governmental and cultural
forms of governance.
Civil society represents a realm that is largely outside immediate commercial and
even governmental pressures. It is populated by various associations that work
We face a situation in which extra-market
forces must be marshaled on behalf of a
green economy, even though few forms of
power are more commanding and expan-
sive in scope than market ones.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 79
within and across societies in the service of particular public ideals or enterprises.
The specifically public dimension suggests that civil society actors are motivated
fundamentally not by economic profit, while the transnational character of civil
society suggests a sovereignty-free orientation.
2
To be sure, civil society actors
are not wholly autonomous from the world economy or the nation-state system.
Indeed, civil society often reflects the same power dynamics that define these
other two spheres. However, analytically it is distinct enough that forces and initia-
tives can arise within civil society that are at odds with contemporary governmen-
tal or commercial norms and practices, and this partial independence provides
civil society actors with a unique purchase point on world affairs in general and
global environmental issues in particular. To the degree that their efforts—which
include everything from pressuring governments to shifting codes of good con-
duct—influence economic calculation and the dynamics of commercial life, civil
society becomes a necessary agent of transition to a green economy.
FROM PROMISE TO PRACTICE
To boost the hope of civil society, we need new and stronger institutions to
empower civil society actors. These institutions must translate the aspirations of
social and environmental justice emergent in civil society into forms of gov-
ernance that can both penetrate and direct economic life. What follows, then,
are proposals for how to build and strengthen civil society institutions that can
facilitate a green economic transformation.
Civilian Corps Service Responsibility (CCSR): Many countries require or
encourage citizens to serve the nation in one form or another. This can include
everything from military drafts to civilian service organizations. Such service not
only assists in public welfare—by meeting critical community needs in educa-
tion, health and public safety—but also provides an education and sense of
national investment by participants.
The United States initiated the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 as a work
relief program wherein unemployed youth were enlisted to implement a natural
resource conservation program. Participants planted three billion trees, con-
structed more than 800 state parks, and built infrastructure to make public lands
accessible. The program also built awareness and appreciation of America’s
natural beauty and resources among the population.
3

A similar program in which youth serve for a year as stewards of the land could
arise within countries around the world. Citizens would work as public servants
80 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
at water treatment plants, waste disposal sites, farms, environmental remedia-
tion areas, and urban transportation centers. This would give youths a sense of
contemporary ecological challenges and enlist them in helping countries meet
their provisioning needs in a sustainable fashion. Indeed, since more than half
the world’s population lives in cities, people are increasingly unaware of the
sources of their water and food products and the disposal sites for their waste.
A CCSR would provide an experiential sustainability education to a nation’s citi-
zens, as well as create a steady cadre of workers committed to natural resource
protection.
While civilian corps systems have historically been national in scope, there is
reason to expand them beyond national boundaries. A transnational, regional, or
even global service in which people serve in the world’s ecological hotspots would
provide a steady stream of sustainability workers, expand global consciousness
about environmental interconnections, and help build a global community—all of
which are crucial to increasing civil society pressure on the world economy.
International Food and Product Label Standardization Program: Full cost or
sustainability-sensitive pricing is impossible without accurate information about
ecological costs. To move toward an accurate pricing system, the international
community can adopt product-labeling standards.
At a minimum, labels should indicate the source of ingredients to specify that
the ultimate foundation of products is the earth itself. Computers, dry wall, pot-
tery, food, and paper do not materialize from the sheer ingenuity of humans, but
rather from the living earth. Minerals, water, animals, plants, and microorgan-
isms are the building blocks of our consumptive material world. Being reminded
of this in a systematic way could contribute to civic environmental responsibility
and, by extension, civil pressure on the global economic market.
In 2009, Sweden began providing carbon emission ratings for food in addition
to nutritional information. This effort sought to encourage Swedes to consider
the health of the planet along with their individual health decisions.
4
Calculating
the carbon emissions from food production is still fraught with challenges, and
there are many potentially unjust consequences involved with consumers shift-
ing their buying habits based on such labeling. However, the effort is useful for
reducing Sweden’s carbon emissions sourced from food production.
The transnationalization of such a system would encourage consumers and
producers to make more mindful choices in the marketplace. Food labels could
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 81
include information about not only the ecological components of products and
sustainable disposal options, but also the fairness of production practices (as in
today’s fair-trade certified labels).
Corporate Responsibility Charter (CRC)
5
: Corporations in many countries are
legally afforded the same (if not more) rights, and are required to assume the
same (if not fewer) responsibilities, as citizens. This corrupts politics and licenses
corporate irresponsibility.
For example, in democracies where corporations enjoy the right to free speech
(and where money is considered a form of speech), corporate financial power
influences elections and policy-making. Additionally, most corporate charters
legally circumscribe liability such that shareholders stand to lose only their
investments and employees only their jobs if a corporation fails to protect its
own or the public’s interests. These common laws shield corporations from
public welfare accountability.
A CRC would require all corporations with gross receipts in excess of $100 mil-
lion to obtain a renewable corporate charter to do business within and across
national boundaries. Multinational panels of citizens, serving in the same capac-
ity as citizen jurors, would act as grantors. These panels would evaluate corpo-
rate behavior to ensure acceptable environmental and ethical business practices.
Earth Flag
6
: The absence of global solidarity among sovereign states under-
mines the possibility of a strong, global environmental ethic and thus efforts
toward creating a global green economy. States pursue their national interest
often devoid of global concern. A country’s flag—its patriotic symbol—thus serves
as a powerful instrument for cultivating global consciousness and building
momentum for a green world economy.
By sewing a small image of the globe in the corner of their existing flags,
countries could demonstrate their solidarity with the ecological imperative that
national concerns dovetail with global ones. In this way, citizens could com-
memorate their nation’s uniqueness while acknowledging and celebrating their
interdependence with others. Such citizen consciousness could heighten global
civil society’s pressures for a green economy.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY
Civil society is no panacea to the challenges of transitioning to a green economy.
Associations within civil society often enjoy parochial interests (even if they
82 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
express themselves in public good terms), and the realm itself lacks sufficient
power to alter the deeply entrenched structures of the world economy. Indeed,
more often than not, civil society is the tail being wagged by the economic dog.
However, there are still pock-
ets of collective life amidst
commercial hegemony that
occasionally enjoy critical
distance in which people
can imagine and disseminate
alternative practices, and the hope of transitioning to a green economy depends
partly upon such pockets. Put differently, the activation of civil society in the
service of environmental protection is a necessary component of transitioning to
a green economy, even if it is not sufficient.
The measures suggested above may sound naïve given their small interventions
into the monumental character of the world economy. They may seem, at most,
like quaint gestures with no ability to genuinely shift environmental affairs. This
would be a semi-accurate read. However, another interpretation would suggest
that they nevertheless represent genuine intrusions into the matrix of our socio-
economic lives, and thus have the ability to stir ideas and practices. In the same
way that civil society reflects the power dynamics of the world economy and the
nation-state system, the world economy is partially reflective of what happens
in these other two realms. Thus, civil society provides part of the basic context
within which the world economy operates. Coloring this context in green is
crucial for building any semblance of a green economy.
1 The phrase “waste=food” comes from: McDonough, W. and M. Braungart. 2002. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the
Way We Make Things. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 92ff.
2 Rosenau, J. 1990. Turbulence in World Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p 36.
3 Williams, G. W. and A. Shapiro. 2008. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Forests. March 21.
Available online at: http://tinyurl.com/USFS-CCC.
4 International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. 2009. Sweden Tells All With CO2 Emissions
Food Labels. Bridges Trade BioRes, November 13, 9 (20): 10.
5 This idea draws on the work of Michael Lerner and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. See, e.g., Network of
Spiritual Progressives. 2010. Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Tikkun
Magazine, September/October, pp. 33–38.
6 Professor Daniel Deudney, currently of the Political Science Department at Johns Hopkins University, proposed
a variant of this idea in the 1990s.
The activation of civil society in the service
of environmental protection is a necessary
component of transitioning to a green
economy, even if it is not sufficient.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 83
10. Private Sector Governance for a Sustainable
Economy: A Strategic Approach
by David Levy
A global transition to a sustainable economy requires the large-scale mobiliza-
tion of our financial, technological, and organizational resources. Climate change
is one of the major concerns of this century, and it has been estimated that
annual global investment of more than $500 billion will be needed over the com-
ing decades to keep warming within a two-degrees-Celcius limit. The vast scale
of these investments and the need to integrate sustainable technologies, prac-
tices, and products across the supply chains of every economic sector highlight
the importance of creating governance structures that will redirect corporate
resources toward sustainability.
Growing concern about an international “governance deficit” has fuelled this
embrace of private resources and capacity. It is important, however, to recognize
that large companies are already, de facto, highly engaged in the fabric of global
environmental governance
systems in their roles as pol-
luters, investors, innovators,
lobbyists, and marketers. Pri-
vate decisions over products
and processes, technologies
and research, and distribution
and sourcing have vast environmental consequences with wide societal ramifica-
tions and broad geographic reach.
1

Here I use the term “global governance” in the broadest sense to mean “the rules,
institutions, and norms that order, channel, and constrain economic activity
and its impacts in relation to international issues of public concern.” It therefore
includes not only regulation and formal international agreements, but also private
mechanisms such as codes of conduct, discursive and normative frames, and
market structures.
2
This expands on the conventional understanding of multi-actor,
multi-level governance to emphasize three primary channels of governance, which
Private decisions over products and pro-
cesses, technologies and research, and
distribution and sourcing have vast envi-
ronmental consequences with wide societal
ramifications and broad geographic reach.
84 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
correspond to the pillars of stability in a particular arena or “organizational field”:
economic/technological, political/regulatory, and discursive/cultural.
3

THE COMPLEXITY OF CARBON LOCK-IN
Governance is thus a matrix of forces, actors, and institutions that stabilize a
field in a particular way. Governance does not necessarily guarantee an outcome
that serves the public interest. It is our current governance systems over energy
and transportation that produce carbon lock-in, the “interlocking technological,
institutional and social forces…that perpetuate fossil fuel-based infrastructures
in spite of their known environmental externalities.”
4
Lock-in is more than an
economic and technological phenomenon. Institutions such as the mass media,
unions, government agencies, and professional certification bodies generate
standards, rules, norms, routines and cultural practices that stabilize the domi-
nant technologies. The automobile, for example, is intimately connected to our
patterns of work, leisure, and shopping. Organizations with vested interests
associated with existing technologies, such as industry associations and unions,
become powerful actors who perpetuate the status quo.
A structural understanding of governance highlights the complexity, inter-
dependencies, and inertia of the current system, and thus, the challenges
of a sustainability transition. Against this background, what governance
institutions and mechanisms could generate change? Here we must heed
Machiavelli’s warning to avoid wishful thinking and start with the world as
it is. It is pointless to preach to consumers to abandon their cars and plane
travel, or to admonish companies to give priority to sustainability. Economic
activity is deeply embedded in economic and social institutions, and compa-
nies are constrained by corporate governance, capital markets, competition,
and the wider consumer culture.
Existing governance institutions are also embedded in the current system, so it is
naïve to simply specify “ideal” governance institutions that would, for example,
create a high global price for carbon, mandate clean production systems, and
empower non-financial stakeholders. Meaningful change requires careful study of
the contested terrain of corporate environmental practice and governance, and a
long-term strategy to win new allies, reframe the issues, shift norms, realign eco-
nomic incentives, and craft new rules and oversight mechanisms. This represents
a strategic approach to building governance for a green economy.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 85
FROM REGULATORY TO RADICAL: FOUR APPROACHES
Four governance mechanisms can potentially shift corporate behavior toward
sustainability. First, regulation can direct companies to meet specific goals, such
as renewables in the power sector, or fuel efficiency for vehicles. Second, eco-
nomic incentives for sustainability can be structured through taxes, subsidies, or
new financial instruments such as carbon markets. Third, public pressures can
lead companies to shift their norms and practices, for example, by embracing
information disclosure initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The fourth and most radical approach
is to restructure the foundations of corporate governance so that productive orga-
nizations internalize the drive to serve multiple stakeholders and goals, includ-
ing the workforce, the community, and the environment.
Each of these approaches has possibilities and limitations. Regulation is the most
traditional means of influencing corporate behavior, but it can face huge political
hurdles, as illustrated by the current post-Kyoto climate regime quagmire and
inaction in the U.S. Congress. Regulation not only generates corporate opposition
but also frequently faces reluctance from politicians more concerned about com-
petitiveness and employment than sustainability. Some have made a spirited
argument for a Global Environmental Organization to overcome problems of
collective action and coordinate national regulation, but others are wary of the
centralization of unaccountable power.
5
Providing economic incentives harnesses the private sector’s profit motive, but
these incentives are often driven by political rather than environmental consid-
erations, as in the case of ethanol subsidies. They can have unintended and per-
verse impacts, such as providing incentives through carbon credits for expand-
ing the manufacture of air conditioning. They strain governmental budgets and
are frequently opposed by vested interests.
The move toward social and environmental disclosure represents a form of
informational governance or “civil regulation” that some herald as a new era of
transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement.
6
Critics have argued
that disclosure is actually a privatized form of voluntary self-governance that
protects against more onerous regulation and accomplishes little for sustainabil-
ity or democratic ideals.
7

Disclosure is, indeed, a contested form of governance in which the non-govern-
mental organizations (NGOs) who promote initiatives such as CDP seek not only
86 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
to change corporate practices but also to empower civil society actors as active
partners in corporate decision-making.
8
Simultaneously, business strives to
promote a more corporate version of disclosure geared toward management of
reputation, liability, energy costs, and investor relations.
These three mechanisms for promoting sustainability—regulation, economic
incentives, and increased disclosure programs—leave intact the fundamental
structures of corporate governance in which companies strive to maximize
profits and are accountable to capital markets, both through the formal legal
structures of shareholders and boards of directors and functionally through the
operations of investment analysts and bond ratings. Any attempt to divert com-
panies from this goal inevitably faces resistance, and companies are frequently
able to thwart, weaken, or skirt regulation through the deployment of lawyers,
lobbyists, and accountants.
Sustainability advocates enthusiastically make the “win-win” case that improv-
ing environmental disclosure and practice actually raises financial perfor-
mance; indeed, the core strategy of GRI and CDP has been to enlist investors
as key allies in creating a demand for disclosure. While there is certainly some
low-lying fruit in the energy area, relying on the harmony of private interests
and planetary sustainability, with vague appeals to the long run, seems rather
dubious and ignores the massive environmental externalities of our industrial
production and mass consumption. Studies of the relationship between environ-
mental and financial performance offer little evidence for the “win-win” case.
The fourth and most radical approach is to reengineer structures of governance
so that organizations internalize not just environmental costs but the sustain-
ability mission itself. A variety of experiments are under way with organizational
forms that attempt to combine the economic efficiency and market orientation
of the private sector with
the concern for social and
environmental goals of not-
for-profit organizations. The
Corporation 20/20 initiative
has brought together a range
of ideas about governance
structures to promote a “Great
Transition” to a more sustainable society. Marjorie Kelly of the Tellus Institute, co-
founder of Corporation 20/20, has described a three-part typology of structures
A variety of experiments are under way with
organizational forms that attempt to com-
bine the economic efficiency and market
orientation of the private sector with the
concern for social and environmental goals
of not-for-profit organizations.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 87
of “for-Benefit companies”: Stakeholder-Owned Companies, Mission-Controlled
Companies, and Public-Private Hybrids. “The essential framework of such a
company—its ownership, governance, capitalization, and compensation struc-
tures—is designed to support this dual mission.”
9

The ambitious agenda of Corporation 20/20 hints at the hurdles it faces. Some
of the organizations Kelly describes deliberately limit their dividends, profit-
ability targets, and growth rates in order to address their goals. Building an
economy based on such organizations would therefore require a revolution in
capital markets. While some investment funds apply social screens, constraints
on pursuit of returns are anathema to capital markets. The transition toward
regarding stakeholders, such as labor and environmental groups, as active par-
ticipants in decisions rather than actors to be consulted and managed is likewise
a revolution that overthrows shareholder supremacy and replaces it with a more
complex and multi-layered form of governance.
A STRATEGIC SHIFT IS NECESSARY
Yet even if most organizations were environmentally aware and followed best
practice, there is no guarantee that the global economy would be sustainable at
a planetary level. As John Ehrenfeld, sustainability scholar and current execu-
tive director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, has described,
sustainability is a systems-level phenomenon based on the balance of human
activities and the earth’s natural processes.
10
The sum total of global production
and consumption, from cars and planes to food and energy, puts an intolerable
strain on the earth’s capacity to provide fresh water and absorb carbon dioxide
and other pollutants. This is becoming strikingly clear with the rapid industrial-
ization of China, India, and Brazil. Moreover, the redesign of our cities, transpor-
tation systems, and energy infrastructure requires such a massive scale of invest-
ment and regional planning that individual business organizations, however well
intentioned, cannot meet the challenge. Clearly, we need sectoral, national, and
global institutions that can play a role in planning, coordinating, and financing
the transition.
Several writers brought together under the Corporation 20/20 initiative recognize
this wider context and the need for macro-level governance.
11
Tellus Institute
Senior Fellow Richard Rosen, for example, draws from experience with the
U.S. Public Utility Commissions to suggest paths to democratizing decisions at
the sectoral level pertaining to capital investments, technologies, and pricing
in basic industrial and service sectors. Paul Epstein, associate director of the
88 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, calls
for a new Bretton Woods to reshape institutions such as the IMF, World Bank,
and WTO to align the global financial architecture with sustainable development
goals. This would entail strengthening and enhancing funding for existing institu-
tions with a sustainability mission, such as UNEP and GEF, and restructuring
other organizations. John Stutz of the Tellus Institute and Boston College sociol-
ogy professor Juliet Schor, among others, have argued for a far-reaching cultural
transformation that displaces consumption and growth from its central place in
our economy and society.
Yet here again we should to heed Machiavelli’s warning and consider a strategy
for getting there from here. There are tensions between the more incremental
yet practicable changes to governance structures and more radical plans that
are unlikely to gain traction.
Some of the most intriguing
initiatives, such as the GRI
and the CDP, have tried to
negotiate these tensions in a
strategic, dynamic manner.
These disclosure-based governance projects have been remarkably successful in
galvanizing voluntary compliance among many of the largest companies. Most
notably, the leaders of these initiatives forged wide coalitions, including NGOs,
businesses, accountants, consultants, and investors, and attempted to appeal to
the diverse interests and goals of these actors.
The core strategy for CDP, which is largely modeled on GRI, is to recruit institu-
tional investors to pressure companies in which they hold investments to report
using the disclosure protocol. For investors, the claim is that the information is
valuable in signaling the degree of carbon risk. To appeal to the NGO commu-
nity and multilateral organizations such as UNEP, carbon disclosure is framed
as advancing an agenda of corporate accountability and more inclusive and
transparent governance. The CDP, along with GRI, would provide a standardized
format to reduce compliance costs, but also enable comparison across firms.
This would reward strong performers with reputational benefits while enabling
NGOs to exert pressure on non-disclosers and poor performers.
Advocates of corporate social reporting frame it discursively in “win-win” terms
as satisfying environmental, social, and economic goals in a way that would
appeal to a diverse array of actors. Carbon disclosure, for example, is presented
There are tensions between the more in-
cremental yet practicable changes to gov-
ernance structures and more radical plans
that are unlikely to gain traction.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 89
as an element of social and environmental responsibility and reporting, a
broader project that already has widespread acceptance among business, gov-
ernment, and civil society actors.
Simultaneously, CDP founders have been skillful in framing carbon disclosure
slightly differently for different audiences. For the business and financial com-
munity, carbon disclosure is portrayed as an extension of financial reporting,
drawing from its legitimacy as a routine practice with companies, investors, and
regulatory authorities. For businesses wary of mandatory carbon regulation,
voluntary disclosure offers positive publicity and flexibility in implementation
with little legal exposure. Carbon disclosure is also framed as serving the mate-
rial interests of industry and finance through carbon trading, risk management,
streamlined reporting, and energy savings. For accounting, IT, and consulting
firms, the measurement and management of carbon flows presents a vast new
market opportunity.
CDP has gained widespread acceptance, but it has not eliminated the fundamen-
tal tensions in this contested field. These tensions, or “competing logics,” arise
from the diversity of forms and purposes of carbon accounting and disclosure,
and the related interests of the actors involved. The logic of ”civil regulation”
views carbon disclosure as a mechanism to empower civil society groups to play
a more assertive role in corporate governance, increasing the transparency and
accountability of corporations to external stakeholders. The implicit goal is a
more fundamental shift in the balance of power toward civil society. The logic of
“corporate environmental performance,” by contrast, relies on the instrumental
value of carbon disclosure to business through the management of energy costs,
compliance, and reputation.
The strategic compromises and fragile coalitions necessary to initiate a wide-
spread shift in business practice inherently generate pressures that circumscribe
more systematic transformation. In this case, the strategy of positioning carbon
disclosure as integral to carbon markets and management has resulted in the
dominance of market-oriented managerialism. Carbon information seems to
hold the most potential value for corporate managers and accountants, consul-
tants, and software companies, who are emerging as the dominant partners in
the carbon disclosure movement. Neither investors nor NGOs have much use
for aggregate data, which, it turns out, is not particularly valuable for activist
campaigns or valuing assets.
90 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
While carbon disclosure has not transformed corporate governance, it has
scored important strategic gains. It has generated legitimacy for the principle
of disclosure and accountability to external stakeholders, and increased the
visibility and voice of environmental advocates inside and outside corporations.
It has generated considerable momentum toward the formalization of carbon
accounting standards, standards currently crossing over into the regulatory
apparatus of agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the
Environmental Protection Agency. Perhaps most importantly, carbon disclosure
has demonstrated the feasibility of carbon management and potential corporate
benefits, shifting the field of play and opening political space for further action.
It suggests how a strategic approach to building structures of governance might
chart a trajectory toward taming the powerful locomotive of corporate produc-
tive and creative energies and redirect them toward building a green economy.
1 Levy, D. L. and P. J. Newell (eds.). 2005. The Business of Global Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press.
2 Levy, D. L. and R. Kaplan. 2008. Corporate social responsibility and theories of global governance: Strategic
contestation in global issue arenas. In A. Crane, A. McWilliams, D. Matten, J. Moon, and D. Siegel (Eds.), Oxford
Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3 Levy, D. and M. Scully. 2007. The institutional entrepreneur as modern prince: The strategic face of power in
contested fields. Organization Studies, 28(7): 971–991.
4 Unruh, G. C. 2000. Understanding carbon lock-in. Energy Policy, 28(12): 817-830.
5 Bierman, F. 2001. The emerging debate on the need for a World Environment Organization. Global Environmen-
tal Politics, 1(1): 45–55.
6 Florini, A. 2003. The Coming Democracy: New Rules for Running a New World. Washington D.C.: Island Press.
7 Gupta, A. 2008. Transparency Under Scrutiny: Information disclosure in global environmental governance.
Global Environmental Politics, 8(2): 1–7.
8 Levy, D. L., H. S. Brown and M. de Jong. 2010. The Contested Politics of Corporate Governance: The Case of the
Global Reporting Initiative. Business and Society, 49(1): 88–115.
9 White, A. (Ed). 2009. Paper Series on Restoring the Primacy of the Real Economy. Boston: Corporation 20/20,
Tellus Institute, p.36. Available at http://tinyurl.com/restoringtheprimacy.
10 Ehrenfeld, J. 2009. Sustainability by Design. New Haven: Yale University Press.
11 White, A. 2009.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 91
Task Force Members
Tom Bigg is Head of Partnerships at the International Institute for Environment
and Development (IIED) and has worked for more than seven years with the
United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee (UNED-UK),
where he focused on building UK links with the work of the UN Commission
on Sustainable Development. He also worked to produce a number of publica-
tions including a book co-written with Derek Osborn titled Earth Summit II:
Outcomes and Analysis in 1998. He also managed the production of “Poverty
and Plenty”—a human development report for the UK—and was the editor of the
UNED magazine Connections.
Elizabeth R. DeSombre is the Frost Professor of Environmental Studies and
professor of political science at Wellesley College. Her main focus is international
environmental politics. She also works on international law and international
relations theory. Recent projects have involved the lessons from the Montreal
Protocol, the regulation of international fisheries, and the use of economic
sanctions for environmental goals. Professor DeSombre’s first book, Domestic
Sources of International Environmental Policy: Industry, Environmentalists,and
U.S. Power, won the 2001 Chadwick F. Alger Prize for the best book published
in 2000 in the area of international organization and the 2001 Lynton Caldwell
Award for the best book published on environmental policy. She currently serves
as the book review editor for the journal Global Environmental Politics.
Mark Halle is Director, Trade and Investment, and European Representative at
the International Institute for Sustainable Development. His career began in the
field of international negotiations, serving in the diplomatic secretariat of the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He has worked extensively
with the United Nations Environment Programme, WWF International, and
the International Union for the Conservation of Nature over the years, and has
worked for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, both as its
European Representative and as its Global Director for Trade and Investment.
Halle also lectures, writes, and publishes frequently on issues related to sustain-
able development and to multilateral trade policy. He is founder and former
Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development.
92 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Hans Hoogeveen is Director General at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature
and Food Quality and Visiting Professor of Practice in Natural Resource Policy
at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He currently is
leading a Dutch Task Force on agriculture for post-war reconstruction in Uruzgan,
Afghanistan. He is the senior advisor on water and food security issues to the
Royal Crown Prince of the Netherlands, who serves as Chair of the United Nations
Advisory Board on Sanitation and Water. He also serves on several boards in the
field of sustainable development, including the Sustainability Challenge Founda-
tion in the Netherlands and Forest Trends. Dr. Hoogeveen is also a lead author of
the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on the International Forest Regime.
Saleemul Huq is Senior Fellow of the Climate Change Group at the International
Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London. His interests are
in the inter-linkages between climate change and sustainable development from
the perspective of developing countries. He has published numerous articles in
scientific and popular journals, was a lead author of the chapter on adaptation
and sustainable development in the Third Assessment Report (2001) of the Inter-
governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was one of the coordinating
lead authors of “Inter-relationships between Adaptation and Mitigation” in the
IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007). In 1984, he became the founding Exec-
utive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. When he left BCAS in 2000, it was the leading scientific research
and policy institute in the country in the field of environment and development.
Bernice Lee is Research Director for Energy, Environment, and Resource Gover-
nance at Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs. She was Head
of the Energy, Environment, and Development Programme and Team Leader
for the EU-China Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security project;
Policy and Strategy Advisor of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development; Warren Weaver Fellow (International Security) at the Rockefeller
Foundation; and Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic
Studies. She also worked at the Strategic Planning Unit of the United Nations
Secretary-General’s office.
David L. Levy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Management and
Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He teaches business
strategy, international business, international political economy, and business
and its environment, and is active in the PhD program in public policy. He is also
Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness,
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 93
whose mission is “to foster a transition to a clean, sustainable, and prosperous
economy.” The center engages in collaborations among businesses, universities,
and policymakers to advance research and education. Professor Levy is also the
founder and editor of Climate Inc., a new blog devoted to discussion of business
and climate change.
Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz is the co-founder and Chief Executive of the Interna-
tional Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development since 1996. Previously,
he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano
(Quito). He formerly represented Colombia as a negotiator in various multilateral
trade and environmental governance processes, including the GATT’s Uruguay
Round, the Climate Change Convention, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, and the Montreal Protocol. Earlier, he served as Principal Advisor to the
Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of
the Office of the President of Colombia. Since 1997, Meléndez-Ortiz has been the
publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications. He serves on several inter-
national policy initiatives, including the board of Intellectual Property Watch
(Geneva), and the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership. He is
also as member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade
and of the Forum’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change.
Adil Najam is the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy, Director
of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and Professor of
International Relations and of Geography & Environment at Boston University.
He previously taught at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts Univer-
sity, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and at the University of
Massachusetts. His recent books include: Portrait of a Giving Community: Dias-
pora Philanthropy by Pakistani-Americans (2006), Global Environmental Gov-
ernance (2006), and Trade and Sustainable Development (2007). He was a lead
author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), work for which
the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2008, he was appointed
by the UN Secretary-General to serve on the United Nations Committee for
Development Policy (CDP). In 2009, the President of Pakistan conferred on him
the medal Sitara-i-Imtiaz (SI) for his services to education and environment.
Henrik Selin is Associate Professor of International Relations and Faculty Fel-
low at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
at Boston University. He conducts research and teaches classes on global and
regional politics and policy-making on environment and sustainable develop-
94 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
ment. His book Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of
Multilevel Management was recently published by MIT Press. He is the co-editor
of two books, Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions, Policy
Making and Multilevel Governance (MIT Press, with Stacy VanDeveer) and
Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics: Comparative and International
Perspectives (Ashgate, with Miranda Schreurs and Stacy VanDeveer). He is also
the author and co-author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles
and book chapters.
Stacy D. VanDeveer is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the master’s
program in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. His research
interests include international environmental policy-making and its domestic
impacts, the role of expertise in policy-making, and the politics of consumption
and environmental and human rights degradation in global commodities mar-
kets. He spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center
for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy
School of Government after getting his PhD from the University of Maryland.
He has authored and co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, work-
ing papers, and reports and co-edited two books. Previously, he was a Visiting
Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
Patrick Verkooijen is the Visiting Professor in Global Forest Diplomacy at the
Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group at Wageningen University and
Research Centre (WUR), Senior Research Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law
& Diplomacy at Tufts University, and also Senior Partnership Specialist at the
World Bank in Washington, D.C. Before his appointment at the World Bank, Dr.
Verkooijen acted as key negotiator for the Department of International Affairs
at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands. He
also served as senior advisor to the President of the United Nations Forum on
Forests and acted briefly as advisor to the Special Representative of the Secre-
tary-General of the United Nations in Sudan, and was stationed in Khartoum. Dr.
Verkooijen is also a lead author of the Global Forest Expert Group (GFEP) on the
International Forest Regime, as established within the framework of the Collab-
orative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and coordinated by the International Union
of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 95
Paul Wapner is Associate Professor and Director of the Global Environmental
Politics program in the School of International Service at American University.
He researches and teaches global environmental politics, social movements,
environmental thought, and international relations theory. His articles have
appeared in World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Global Environmen-
tal Politics, Alternatives, Global Governance, Environmental Politics, Tikkun,
Chicago Journal of International Law, Politics and the Life Sciences, Dissent, and
other venues. He is author of Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics,
which won the Margaret and Harold Sprout Award, and co-editor (with Edwin
Ruiz) of Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International
Relations.
96 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 97
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INSIGHTS
Sustainable Development Insights is a series of short policy essays supporting the
Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (SDKP) and edited by Boston
University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.
The series seeks to promote a broad interdisciplinary dialogue on how to accel-
erate sustainable development at all levels.
The papers in this series, listed below, are available in PDF format at
www.bu.edu/pardee/publications. Hard copies are available by email request to
pardee@bu.edu.
Green Revolution 2.0: A Sustainable Energy Path
Nalin Kulatilaka (No. 6), October 2010
Global Environment Governance: The Challenge of Accountability
Adil Najam and Mark Halle (No. 5), May 2010
The Role of Cities in Sustainable Development
David Satterthewaite (No. 4), May 2010
Are Women the Key to Sustainable Development?
Candice Stevens (No. 3), April 2010
Rio+20: Another World Summit?
Miquel Muñoz and Adil Najam (No. 2), November 2009
Pushing “Reset” on Sustainable Development
Alan AtKisson (No. 1), October 2009
98 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011
RECENT PARDEE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
The Pardee Papers series
Energy Transitions
Peter A. O’Connor (No. 12), November 2010
Coffee, Culture and Intellectual Property:
Lessons for Africa from the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Initiative
Heran Sereke-Brhan (No. 11), July 2010
Sub-Saharan Africa at a Crossroads:
A Quantitative Analysis of Regional Development
Zachary C. Tyler and Sucharita Gopal (No. 10), May 2010
Narcotics Trafficking in West Africa: A Governance Challenge
Peter L. McGuire (No. 9), March 2010
Issues in Brief series
China and the Future of Latin American Industrialization
Kevin Gallagher (No. 18), October 2010
Complex Natural Disasters and the Role of the University
Enrique Silva (No. 17), October 2010
Call for a Corporate Social Conscience Index
Stephanie Watts (No. 16), September 2010
Mapping the Complexity of Higher Education in the Developing World
Muhammad Hamid Zaman, Adil Najam, and David K. Campbell (No. 15), May 2010
Pardee Conference Center Reports
Africa 2060: Good News from Africa
April 2010
All publications are available for download as PDF files at www.bu.edu/pardee/publications.
Hard copies are available by email request to pardee@bu.edu.
Pardee House
67 Bay State Road
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
www.bu.edu/pardee
Email: pardee@bu.edu
Tel: 617-358-4000
Fax: 617-358-4001
ISBN 978-0-9825683-8-5
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University
convenes and conducts interdisciplinary, policy-relevant, and future-oriented research that can
contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition. Through its program of research,
publications, and events, the Pardee Center seeks to identify, anticipate, and enhance the long-
term potential for human progress, in all its various dimensions.
Occasionally, the Pardee Center convenes groups of experts on specific policy questions to
identify viable policy options for the longer-range future. The Pardee Center Task Force Reports
present the findings of these deliberations as a contribution of expert knowledge to discussions
about important issues for which decisions made today will influence longer-range human
development.
The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy
The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy is comprised of leading ex-
perts in the fields of economics and trade, sustainable development, global governance, political
science, business, international politics, and the environment. Task Force members are from
countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, the Netherlands, Pakistan,
the UK, and the United States. A meeting of all Task Force members was held at Pardee House,
Boston University, in September 2010.
The Task Force was co-convened by Henrik Selin, Associate Professor in the International
Relations Department at Boston University and a Pardee Center Faculty Fellow, and Adil Najam,
Director of the Pardee Center and Professor of International Relations and of Geography &
Environment at Boston University. Other members of the Task Force include Tom Bigg, Head
of Partnerships at the International Institute for Environment and Development; Elizabeth
R. DeSombre, Frost Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Political Science at
Wellesley College; Mark Halle, Director of Trade and Investment, and European Representative
at the International Institute for Sustainable Development; Hans Hoogeveen, Director General at
the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Saleemul Huq, Senior Fellow of the
Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development; Bernice
Lee, Research Director for Energy, Environment, and Resource Governance at Chatham House,
Royal Institute of International Affairs; David L. Levy, Professor and Chair of the Department of
Management and Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Director of the Center
for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness; Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, co-founder
and Chief Executive of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development; Stacy D.
VanDeveer, Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire; Patrick
Verkooijen, Senior Partnership Specialist at the World Bank; and Paul Wapner, Associate Professor
and Director of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service
at American University.

PARDEE CENTER TASK FORCE REPORT / March 2011

Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy

Co-conveners
Henrik Selin Adil Najam

Task Force Members
Tom Bigg Elizabeth DeSombre Mark Halle Hans Hoogeveen Saleemul Huq Bernice Lee David Levy Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz Stacy VanDeever Patrick Verkooijen Paul Wapner

Occasionally, the Pardee Center convenes groups of experts on specific policy questions to identify viable policy options for the longer-range future. This series of papers, Pardee Center Task Force Reports, presents the findings of these deliberations as a contribution of expert knowledge to discussions about important issues for which decisions made today will influence longer-range human development. Series Editor: Professor Adil Najam The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University convenes and conducts interdisciplinary, policy-relevant, and future-oriented research that can contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition. Through its programs of research, publications, and events, the Pardee Center seeks to identify, anticipate, and enhance the long-term potential for human progress, in all its various dimensions. The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future Boston University Pardee House 67 Bay State Road Boston, Massachusetts 02215 Tel: 617-358-4000 Fax: 617-358-4001 www.bu.edu/pardee Email: pardee@bu.edu Cover photograph via iStock.com. The views expressed in this paper represent those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of their home institutions, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, or the Trustees of Boston University. The publications produced by the Pardee Center present a wide range of perspectives with the intent of fostering well-informed dialogue on policies and issues critical to human development and the longer-range future.
Produced by Boston University Creative Services © 2011 Trustees of Boston University ISBN 978-0-9825683-8-5

E Printed on recycled paper
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................ 43 by Stacy D.... Managing the Challenges of Interlocking Resources .......................... VanDeveer 6........................ 11 by Elizabeth R.................................................................................................. Development Governance and the Green Economy: A Matter of Life and Death? ................................................................................................................................................... Accountability in the Green Economy ... 53 by Bernice Lee 7............. 69 by Hans Hoogeveen and Patrick Verkooijen 9............... Climate and Energy................. 83 by David Levy Task Force Members ................................. Transforming Global Forest Governance ..... Global Environmental Governance for a New Green Economy ..................................... 61 by Saleemul Huq 8... Transitioning to a Green Economy: Citizens and Civil Society ................. Consuming Environments: Options and Choices for 21st Century Citizens...................... Private Sector Governance for a Sustainable Economy: A Strategic Approach..... 33 by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz 5..........TABLE OF CONTENTS iv Acronyms and Abbreviations v Preface by Adil Najam Co-conveners’ Synthesis Making Sustainable Development Real: Institutional Architectures for a Green Economy by Adil Najam and Henrik Selin 1...................... 19 by Mark Halle 3.. 25 by Tom Bigg 4..... 91 iii ........... 77 by Paul Wapner 10...... Governance of International Trade for the Green Economy ......... DeSombre 2.........

South Africa. Russia. India.ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS A4T: Aid-for-Trade BASIC: Brazil. and China BRIC: Brazil. and China CBD: Convention on Biological Diversity CCSR: Civilian Corps Service Responsibility CDP: Carbon Disclosure Project CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CRC: Corporate Responsibility Charter CSD: Commission on Sustainable Development EPA: Environmental Protection Agency GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GDP: Gross Domestic Product GEF: Global Environment Facility GFG: Global Forest Governance GRI: Global Reporting Initiative IEA: International Energy Agency IMF: International Monetary Fund IRENA: International Renewable Energy Agency NGOs: Non-governmental organizations ODA: Overseas Development Assistance OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development REMs: Rare earth metals SEC: Securities and Exchange Commission UNCED: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNCSD: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization WTO: World Trade Organization iv . India.

This report presents the results of these deliberations. where initial drafts of their essays were presented and discussed. this very topic will be debated many times and in many venues. Between now and Rio+20. the timing for this report could not have been better.Preface Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy is the second in The Pardee Center Task Force Reports series. This Pardee Center Task Force Report is a contribution to these deliberations. these expert essays capture a rich and refreshing diversity of perspectives that we hope policymakers will find useful. v . Marking the 20th anniversary of the historic Rio Earth Summit of 1992. international. and the diplomacy arena to think about why we face the institutional challenges we do and about the type of bold actions and ideas that may move us towards an institutional framework that is more conducive to fostering sustainable development. In addition to the co-conveners’ synthesis of the key ideas emerging from the meeting. The membership of the Task Force was purposely interdisciplinary. and intersectoral. this report also includes the thought-provoking essays written by each of the experts on the Pardee Center Task Force on different aspects of the challenge. The group also deliberated upon the overall trends and findings emerging from the discussions and this became the basis of the synthesis from the Task Force co-conveners. civil society. This Pardee Center Task Force was convened by Professor Henrik Selin and myself. 2010. as it happens. of recreating a world economy that is “greener” and more sustainable. All members of the Pardee Center Task Force met at Pardee House on September 10. We hope that the ideas presented in this Pardee Center Task Force Report will provide international decision-makers at the United Nations and elsewhere a fresh and diverse set of perspectives concerning the ongoing quest for institutional and governance frameworks that can help foster sustainable development globally. and. Recent and upcoming international meetings convened by the United Nations are focused on the challenges of actualizing the promise of sustainable development. We hope that our early attempt to synthesize some of the lessons from the past debates and to present some fresh suggestions for future directions will help inspire and inform the important decisions that will be made in the next many months. Between them. and identifying institutional frameworks that could help achieve this vision. The Pardee Center invited an eminent group of thought-leaders from academia. the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)—popularly called Rio+20—has set for itself the goal of deliberating upon and designing such an architecture.

The Pardee Center Task Force Reports present the findings and deliberations of these groups in a format designed to speak to the concerns of policy practitioners and policy scholars. I would like to express my special gratitude to my colleague Henrik Selin for helping conceive and implement the idea of this Pardee Center Task Force. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future Boston University vi . As part of fulfilling its mandate. and future-oriented research that can contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition. and I hope that it will also have impacts well beyond that. the Pardee Center occasionally convenes groups of experts on pertinent policy issues with longer-range impacts. This Pardee Center Task Force Report is just one of several ways the Pardee Center is contributing to the deliberations on Rio+20 in particular. Adil Najam The Frederick S. Professor Henrik Selin and I are deeply grateful to all the members of the Task Force for the time. We would like to especially thank Professor Maria Ivanova of the University of Massachusetts at Boston for her participation in part of the Task Force meeting and sharing her insightful perspectives and expertise. As co-conveners. As Director of the Pardee Center. enthusiasm. His patient yet persistent leadership of this effort was crucial to bringing it to completion. and has provided a series of expert consultations at recent meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) on topics related to Rio+20 preparations. The Frederick S. producing an excellent document on a complex set of issues in a short period of time. or of Boston University. policyrelevant. The Center also publishes the Sustainable Development Insight series of policy briefs on behalf of the Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (SDKP) with the United Nations. We would also like to thank Cynthia Barakatt and Ellie Perkins for assisting with the editing and publication of this report. and Elaine Teng for helping organize the Task Force meeting. and global governance in general.The mission of the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future is to convene and conduct interdisciplinary. The views expressed in these reports are always those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of their home institutions. Let me end by congratulating all the Task Force members for having produced a timely and intellectually stimulating report. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy Director. and effort they have devoted to this report. of the Pardee Center. I am certain this report will contribute significantly to the deliberations going into Rio+20.

Brazil. The comprehensive preparations for the UNCSD are currently under way. involving a multitude of governments and stakeholders. Marking the 20th anniversary of the landmark “Rio Earth Summit” of 1992 (the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.Co-conveners’ Synthesis Making Sustainable Development Real: Institutional Architectures for a Green Economy Adil Najam and Henrik Selin On December 24. Yet. the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/64/236 to organize the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro.”1 As in all UN processes. UNCSD will be one in a series of UN conferences that aim to focus global political attention towards the need for policy interventions in the areas of environment and development. held in Rio de Janeiro)— which itself marked the 20th anniversary of the equally landmark Stockholm conference of 1972 (the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. “an institutional framework for sustainable development. other conferences with similar goals—for example. held in Stockholm. “a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”. the less distinguished 2002 conference in Johannesburg dubbed “Rio+10” (the World Summit on Sustainable Development) or the now largely-forgotten “Stockholm+10” held in 1982 in Nairobi.2 UNCSD will seek to build on a wide range of past political and organizational achievements.” This title embodies the hope that UNCSD will attract the same attention and import as its two illustrious predecessors. The General Assembly identified two themes of focus for the conference: First. more importantly. Sweden)—the upcoming conference is being popularly referred to as “Rio+20. seek to accelerate progress where a long 1 . but also. both themes were extensively—maybe excessively—negotiated and capture a measure of intentional ambiguity and breadth to satisfy a very broad range of (sometimes contradicting and conflicting) viewpoints and interests. 2009. now commonly called sustainable development. Kenya—did not live up to their own aspirations. and second.

but of critical importance to people and societies all over the world as well as future generations. but is likely to become one—will seek to arrive at global agreement and decisions within the conceptual framework of sustainable development. Prof. As co-conveners of this group. to discuss the first drafts of the papers collected in this report and to deliberate on the trends in governance and institutional frameworks that might inform and influence the decisions to be made at Rio+20 and beyond. and what we can propose about the governance challenges and opportunities for the continuous development of a green economy in the future. Nature and Food Quality).line of earlier international efforts have come up well short. 2010. This is not just an exercise in politics. Those attending UNCSD—which is technically not yet called a “summit” with heads of state and government in attendance. Saleemul Huq (International Center for Climate Change and Development). government. Mark Halle (International Institute for Sustainable Development). Task Force Members included: Dr. Dr. Elizabeth DeSombre (Wellesley College). Bernice Lee 2 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . Pardee Center for the Study of the LongerRange Future convened a small task force of experts to discuss the role of institutions in the actualization of a green economy in the context of sustainable development. Dr.” If those government delegates and stakeholder representatives who go to Rio in 2012 can succeed in constructing a global new deal for sustainable development. Members of the Pardee Center Task Force met at Boston University on September 10. Hans Hoogeveen (Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. the Boston University Frederick S. In fact. the entire global conversation has revolved around the desire to put meaning into the term “sustainable development. their time and effort will be well spent and Rio+20 will be remembered in the same breath and with the same reverence as the 1992 Earth Summit and the 1972 Stockholm meeting. that is already baked into the name of the conference. The two themes were selected by the United Nations General Assembly precisely because they are viewed as areas where (a) there is a need for global clarity and agreement and (b) there is a perceived potential for real change if. indeed. from the 1992 Earth Summit onwards. Tom Bigg (International Institute for Environment and Development). and civil society and asked them to outline ideas about what the world has learned about institutions for sustainable development from the past.3 THE PARDEE CENTER GREEN ECONOMY TASK FORCE As an intellectual contribution to the Rio+20 preparatory process and UNCSD. Indeed. further clarity and agreement are achieved. we brought together stellar experts from academia.

Instead of shackling Task Force members in repetitive debates on the minutia of what may or may not be done by or to a particular UN agency. Prof. we asked them to identify key lessons that have the greatest potential to trigger bold and systemic change—not just at Rio+20. after all. informed. But our goal here is to lay out a big picture view for Rio+20 negotiators and to articulate bold visions of the global ambition that they should be addressing. We have not tried to force a consensus. Stacy D. and Prof. Rather. There was no attempt to force a negotiated consensus on these points and they are our interpretation of the intense. and far-reaching discussion. that. Converting this into a set of practical policies and specific measures is a next step for the international community. Nor was the idea to define a set of precise “recommendations”. Prof. We also realize that many of these ideas are bold. far from it. Boston University). but beyond that. or how the existing system can be tweaked at its periphery. The Task Force members were encouraged to think big and think bold. and maybe even a little irreverent and provocative. We asked them to be innovative in their ideas. is the work of the preparatory negotiators between now and 2012. or what a green economy is. VanDeveer (University of New Hampshire). Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development). We realize that the political will for implementing some of the ideas presented in this report may not yet be available. the Royal Institute for International Affairs). Prof.(Chatham House. but not necessarily new. Boston University). Adil Najam (Pardee Center. This opening chapter provides our (the Task Force co-conveners’) synthesis of the discussion at the Task Force meeting and outlines our understanding of the key ideas and insights that emerged from those deliberations. Paul Wapner (American University). We asked them to consider trends and ideas that match the scale of the challenges that the planet faces today. Patrick Verkooijen (World Bank). we have encouraged a variety and diversity of views. David Levy (University of Massachusetts at Boston). We placed a premium on “newness” of ideas. Henrik Selin (Pardee Center. we set the goal of identifying broad themes and trends in the area of global governance and institutional frameworks for sustainable development and the actualization of a green economy.” Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 3 . Dr. included in this report are each of their “think pieces. Prof. To capture a more detailed sense of the very rich ideas brought to the table by the Task Force members. We hope that this contribution from the Pardee Center Task Force can be of assistance in this endeavor.

”4 Any institutional reform process must begin with a recognition of the urgency for action. One example of this would be to break the deadlock that often arises when we search for a single “perfect” solution by the adoption of a “portfolio approach” that uses a combination of initiatives to raise a variety of resources including monetary resources. identifying the strategic direction of change. and awarenessraising for effective global action on forests. instead. knowledge resources. There is a need. It must also begin with a commitment to the proposition that we need fundamental shifts in our political and economic practices if we are to avoid significantly accelerated ecological damage with disastrous consequences (already experienced by many) for people and societies. These are big and somewhat generalized ideas. Think boldly and move incrementally. but they all have significant implications and can—and should— inform the more specific policies and programs that might emerge from Rio+20. The enormity of the challenge calls for bold thinking. capacity development. we have synthesized five+1 ideas that Rio+20 negotiators should keep in mind. Progressively evaluating the implementation and progress of such measures and carefully adding to them to bring about the desired shifts is an important component of this process. public support. but it should not paralyze action just because big change is often difficult to achieve quickly. The debate has not only remained inconclusive but regularly saps energy away from the needed reform 4 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . and even more on the enriching discussion at the September meeting. for what some participants called a strategy of “radical incrementalism”—recognizing and strengthening those elements within the existing institutional architecture that work. One. and implementing measured and pragmatic shifts that can begin moving the system in that direction. Discussions of institutional reform have sometimes been described as an exercise in “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.These essays—which look at critical dimensions of transitioning to and eventually maintaining a green economy in a world of sustainable development— informed the Task Force discussion and should be read as important complements to the views presented in this introductory chapter. Another example of the benefits of radical incrementalism would be the muchstalled debates on creating a new international environmental organization modeled at least in part on the World Trade Organization. FIVE+1 SUGGESTIONS FOR RIO+20 Building on the papers collected in this report.

and not a weaker. The fact that recent economic upheavals have left the global economy in a state of flux is a massive challenge but can also be an opportunity in that the perceived need—and possibly the appetite—for change is more widely accepted. UNEP is already broadly accepted and should not be held hostage to the debate about the designs of a superorganization for the environment. For example.with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)—especially in terms of strengthening its funding arrangements and consolidating various treaty secretariats—for which there is great and urgent need and on which there is much international agreement. The proposition that the world needs to move towards a “green” economy implies that the economy we have is not working. in economic policy institutions as much as in environmental ones. Any shift in this area will require carefully crafted incentives to align international markets simultaneously towards environmental and resource goals. Change is required. The most obvious case for a shift towards a green economy is in macroeconomic policy instruments relating to structures and principles for international trade and finance issues. institutions. therefore. therefore. policy is not a viable alternative to meet the challenges of the future. is not only to think creatively about economic policy but to engage international economic institutions to do so. At the micro-economic level. the institutional challenge is to create individual incentives (including negative ones) to realign consumption and production decisions that can have significant environmental and economic ramifications. nomic and micro-economic at least not for the environment and future conditions—and. The benefits of a radical incrementalism approach should not be lost in the debate on institutional reform. Two. generations. A central challenge for Rio+20. While Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 5 . therefore. Take economic policy seriously. therefore. Business as usual in economic policy institutions as much as with respect to economic in environmental ones. A genuine transition to a green economy The proposition that the world needs to needs to involve fundamental move towards a “green” economy implies changes to both macro-ecothat the economy we have is not working. the role of trade in resources—especially in energy-related resources and also including the security implications of resource trade—is central to a green economy. The idea that Rio+20 should lead to a stronger. at least not for the environment and future generations.5 Change is required.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Policy goals should be formulated clearly and followed by monitoring and reporting (related to discussions about targets and timetables). Rio+20 negotiators will be well-advised to resist the temptation. including a variety of financial mechanisms (although many have few or no resources).the necessity of such engagement is now understood by environmental as well as economic decision-makers. current organizations. but of making the existing ones effective and functional. and practices must be subject to critical evaluation and changed if they stand in the way of the realization of a green economy. There should be actual consequences for failing to meet agreed-upon goals and targets. Recognize what is working and what is not working. For example. and to simply assume that the problems that have plagued institutions in the past will somehow disappear in the future remains as prevalent as it is misguided. The desire to fundamentally redesign things. Three. activities and regulations across organizations. policies. We feel that a more fruitful discourse for Rio+20 would be to meaningfully enhance the efficacy of the main elements of the system of international 6 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . the period right before and right after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit was extremely productive in the negotiation of new instruments to deal with emerging problems. and issue areas must be coordinated. This is particularly relevant to the question of international environmental governance. At the same time. The challenge now is no longer of creating new instruments. There are already a number of public and private sector initiatives and partnerships that seek to promote a transition to a green economy world. making it real will not be easy because the incentives for such engagement do not yet exist. Furthermore. A good goal for Rio+20 would be to at least begin the realignment of institutional incentives to facilitate the achievement of a goal that was already agreed upon at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit but has not yet been achieved: making environmental considerations central to our global economic decision-making. The same economic crisis that makes the case for change in economic institutions also makes such change more difficult to undertake. There is now a variety of such instruments available for a range of pressing issues. to create new institutions without first thinking about what will happen to old ones. states. Rio+20 creates an opportunity to bring environmental and economic institutions together at a common platform where world leaders—to whom both sets of institutions are ultimately responsible—can lay out a program for such collaboration and begin removing the current disincentives for cooperation.

Rio+20 provides an ideal opportunity to accelerate this transition. First.6 As already mentioned. and dependability—so that it can effectively deal with the responsibilities that member states have been piling upon it. implementation requires evaluation. A focus on green economic issues highlights the importance Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 7 . Four. For example. To this end. dealing with each issue at the lowest. a host of scientific. (b) return to the original design mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and make it a review mechanism for progress towards sustainable development. and UNCSD can become the marker that signifies this shift in attention. This will require multilevel governance from major intergovernmental forums down to town halls and households. that has now given us a rich ediface of institutions and instruments that will be central to creating and managing a green economy. There has been growing restlessness amongst industrialized and developing countries alike—although for different reasons—to make implementation a more central focus. most appropriate level to bring decision-making as close as possible to each citizen. Such a focus involves at least two important changes. A functional green economy will require that societies shift their attention much more towards implementation. private. The period right before and after both the 1972 Stockholm conference and the 1992 Rio Earth Summit saw a frenzy of new international treaty-making and institution-building for the environment. At each level.environmental governance as it now exists. A global green economy will necessitate an emphasis on implementation and on implementation coordination. The state remains central but non-state actors have to be better accommodated. Make implementation the focus. However. and accountability. economic.7 Five. accountability issues are crucial to ensure change and implementation. it will require better incorporating public. the system as it has evolved remains focused on negotiation rather than on implementation. we believe that there is a need to (a) focus on strengthening UNEP—especially in terms of giving it financial stability. Second. and political information needs to be generated and shared in an open and transparent manner. The subsidiarity principle should guide policy and management efforts. This includes thinking hard and carefully about what kind of accountability mechanisms are needed and how they may be established. and civil society actors who are closer to implementation. monitoring. including at the national and sub-national levels. authority. and (c) accelerate the process of rationalization of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) through consolidation and better linkages.

This is already evident in the area of climate change and the creation of carbon markets—markets that can neither operate nor be created independent of state action—and will become increasingly important in the management and greening of natural resource supply chains. and certainly the structure of states that make up the international system has. the importance of the state will increase—not diminish—in the evolving institutional needs of the planet.of markets and consumers to both ecology and politics. Both tendencies should be rejected. there is also a tendency (often amongst those within governments) to push the much of the responsibility for action and change on to non-state institutions. But certainly compared to 1972 and 2002. instead. Both are already happening and Rio+20 should be structured as a forum to demonstrate this evolution. the North today is a little less “North” and the South a little less “South” than before. While the members of this Task Force have highlighted—and celebrated—the importance of broadening the institutional tent and incorporating market as well as citizen institutions more effectively into the global governance enterprise. And all of the above needs to be incorporated within the context of the realization that the state itself has changed over time. There is a tendency (often by those outside of governments) to downplay the importance of states. it is. it also has to retain and assert its role as rule-setter and enforcer. we remain emphatic on the continuing centrality of the state. The model here is not as much of state responsibility being “replaced” or “taken over” by other institutions. As these market instruments may become defined more and more by national security concerns. Rio+20 should set for itself the goal of developing and deploying new and expanded ways of making the engagement with citizen and market groups deeper and more directly related to the implementation challenges. However. state responsibility evolving to (a) become an enabler of more and better action by non-state actors and (b) develop the ability to work in concert with non-state institutions. As the 1972 Stockholm conference and the 1992 Earth Summit are remembered for the breakthroughs they made in accommodating ever-larger numbers of civil society organizations into the global discourse. No single bloc of countries or region holds all the answers. as corporations as well as citizens and 8 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . governments remain—and will remain—central to this enterprise. Just as the state has to learn how to create a space where markets and citizens can spur institutional innovation at a planetary scale. As global power balances shift.

but both have evolved—as have the relations both have to the many non-state actors critical to the realization of a green economy. Five+1.as well as inter-generational smack at the center of the equity—smack at the center of the green green economy enterprise. and in the future—can be met and sustained. Therefore. after all. But the ultimate goal is to do so in a way that the needs of all people—today. but necessary that Rio+20 be a forum that helps ensure that the desire for ecological efficiency complements. not displaces.as well as ations. That essential idea puts the notion the well-being of people—of all people. trality of consumption questions. A green economy and any institutions devised for it must make their core focus the wellbeing of people—of all people. not only among nations but within societies. It also brings to the fore the cen.economy enterprise. It is not just fitting. A green economy and any institutions everywhere—across present devised for it must make their core focus and future generations.” The proximate goal in the creation of a green economy is the notion of making the economy more ecologically efficient—meeting our economic needs without compromising our ecological integrity. Put equity at the center. That essential idea puts the notion of inter-generational equity— equity—intra. A FINAL WORD Both the number of people who still live in abject poverty and the rapid increase in the number of people who engage in high-consumption lifestyles raise crucial challenges for change. Rio+20 delegates should seek to craft a global new deal Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 9 . is the central premise of sustainable development. Finally.and intergenerational equity. international politics and policy are forced to confront new realities about “North-South” differences. we make a concerted and strong argument that equity and human well-being must be the central and unwavering goals of Rio+20. a deep commitment to fairness and social justice is central to the green economy transformation.their consumption become more global and more central to the global enterprise. Neither is ready to wither away. That. a key role of institutional frameworks required for a green economy is to maintain a focus on equity. everywhere—across present and future generof equity—intra. and overarching and incorporating all of the first five ideas. Indeed. It would be a folly to forget that a green economy demands not just “green consumers” but “green citizens. the commitment to intra.

5. we hope that this report presents some ideas whose time has come (again). Najam. Halle.. 2. 5(3): 303–321. environmental degradation as well as social justice. Taiyab. 3 Munoz. 44(7): 26–38. A. A. Cambridge. International Environmental Agreements: Politics. However. after all. and N. 6 Selin. Our Task Force views this report as an early and initial contribution to the discussion on Rio+20. Linnér. and E. Harvard University. Developing Countries and Global Environmental Governance: From Contestation to Participation to Engagement. Global Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Accountability. Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. Sjöstedt. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).. a discussion about all our shared futures. No. Winnipeg. 1 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/236. Najam. Boston Univeristy: The Frederick S. 2010. Selin. B-O. Runnalls. It has been said many times before. A. Environment. Correll (eds. et al. Sustainable Development Insights. 2009. 2005. A. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. and we remain committed to active participation in that dialogue. and will continue to be debated. Center for International Development. and A. 2007. Boston Univeristy: The Frederick S. 2006. and M. We hope that the reader will find these ideas as useful and stimulating as we have. it is not that at all). and B-O. The above synthesis should not be read as a summary of these ideas (in fact. and greenness of the economy along with sustainable livelihoods. November 2009. The Road to Rio: Early Efforts on Environment and Development. G. H. 2005. 5 Najam. and M. adopted 24 December 2009. Sustainable Development Insights. Halle. as the preparations for the UNCSD continue. The Quest for Global Sustainability: International Efforts on Linking Environment and Development. It is. but as an invitation to explore the rest of the report in more detail. The following chapters detail many ideas and summarize a wealth of lessons from the past as well as visions of the future. in A. D. A. Rio+10: Another World Summit. Churie Kallhauge. and H.. 10 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . but it will hopefully inspire action this time: more aggressive policy change for sustainable development and implementation is needed. Papa. Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions. CID Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellow Working Paper No. Winnipeg. MA: Science. From Rio to Johannesburg: Progress and Prospects. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). M.) Global Challenges: Furthering the Multilateral Process for Sustainable Development. 4 Najam. M. 7 Najam. London: Greenleaf Publishing. as they should. Many of the ideas presented in this synthesis and the subsequent papers are not new per se. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. 2 Najam. 2002. Linnér. Versions of many green economy ideas have been debated for decades. Law and Economics. Environment and Development Group. 5. 2005.for sustainable development. a deal that could finally help bridge the NorthSouth divide by tackling poverty as well as over-consumption. No.

even because of these shortcomings—they play an invaluable role in moving the world toward behavior changes necessary to mitigate the negative human impact on the global environment. action by international institutions face individual states is no longer a realistic way in operating in an anarchic to address them. action by individual states is no longer a realistic way to address them. world where states can opt out of participation—or. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION The first role required of institutions is one they are already attempting to play: coordination of the information. the main role for institutions is to support its implementation.1. They can work to decrease uncertainty. perhaps. Most environmental agreements begin by creating scientific assessment bodies as a part of the institutional structure of the agreement. DeSombre What role will be required of global institutions in managing a new green economy as it emerges (or in encouraging it to emerge) in the next 20 to 40 years? While there are many ways institutions could be structured to support a new green economy. As more environmental problems are seen to be global in causes or effects. negotiation. Associated Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 11 . first. their primary role is likely to be a coordinating one. As more environmental problems are seen Despite the shortcomings to be global in causes or effects. and implementation related to changing environmental behavior globally. Global Environmental Governance for a New Green Economy by Elizabeth R. Citizens and states need to determine what this green economy looks like. Institutions. determining the level and cause of environmental harm. These scientific committees study the resource in question. can play a central role in the generation and dissemination of information. That coordination done by institutions will involve both environmental regulation itself and the economic adjustments necessary when the environmental regulation is incomplete.

the scientific processes in these institutions informed states that environmental damage was more extensive than they realized. by making it easier for others to know when actors are. An institution can do so by increasing transparency. living up to their obligations. the fact that it can be is likely to increase reliability of reported information. State preferences may be malleable. The second primary role environmental institutions play is in coordinating the negotiations in which states collectively decide what the response should be to the global environmental problems in question. make it easier to determine when states are not doing what they have agreed to do. The recent trend toward creating general framework conventions without substantive obligations for states reflects situations in which policymakers argue that there is insufficient evidence of environmental damage. the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has called for the cessation of all species trade with some 12 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . and although it is not directly used to do so. Reporting requirements. such as ozone depletion and acid rain. and states were willing to change their behavior once they understood the severity of the environmental problems. Finally.requirements that states examine and report on their own behavior and environmental conditions generate further information to use in evaluating a given problem. or are not. or its human causes. In many issues. in other words. Increasingly intrusive types of monitoring (such as mandating observers on fishing vessels) have recently been created within existing institutions to overcome the potential unreliability of selfreporting. Institutions can also increase the likelihood of implementation by establishing penalties for those who do not follow the rules set by the institution. Though strong enforcement mechanisms are rarely found in international environmental institutions. and a skilled leader of negotiations can help shape what states are willing to agree to. to justify costly action. in light of new information or a reshaping of concerns of states so that they become interested in an issue they had previously considered unimportant. The European agreements on acid rain include a monitoring process that is able to evaluate the accuracy of emissions data reported by states. however. an essential role of international institutions is to increase the likelihood that states will live up to their commitments to protect the environment. for example. The role of international institutions in lowering the transaction costs of conducting such discussions across many individual states should not be underestimated. The process of negotiation often involves tradeoffs in the search for mutually beneficial arrangements (or determining least-common-denominator acceptability).

There are at least two different ways that institutions can manage this coordination: via trade measures or financial measures. That unevenness is perhaps necessary: those who regulate first can be the source of innovation (which can make it easier for others to follow) or inspiration (especially if changing behavior does not have the dire economic consequences in the long-term that its detractors predict) to encourage others to follow the same path. ECONOMIC COORDINATION IN RESPONSE TO GAPS IN REGULATION The more interesting—because it is currently underdeveloped—coordinating role that institutions will likely be called upon to play in a new green economy is to manage the adjustments needed when global regulation is imperfectly implemented. Trade measures require the Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 13 . even when it is not clear that everyone will do so. And. persuade more states to take the risk of adopting environmental measures. adaptation to new ways of doing business that are better than current practices for protecting the environment is unlikely to have dramatic economic disadvantages at the state or global level. it can reduce the chaos triggered by the inevitable political responses that states undertake when obligations are unevenly adopted. this is particularly true if the adoption of environmental rules is uneven across states.states. The trick to encouraging some states to become early adopters of regulations that protect the global (rather than just local. may work to increase implementation. results from uneven adoption of environThis coordination can help mental measures. Institutions can play an important role in coordinating acceptable international responses to the perceived inequity that Institutions can play an important role results from uneven adoption in coordinating acceptable international responses to the perceived inequity that of environmental measures. and potentially even devastating for some local businesses. But in the short run there are good reasons that changing behavior can be costly for those who do. with poor records of upholding the requirements of the agreement. for example. The possibility of such enforcement. As is already evident. or simply of the shaming that comes from not upholding agreements. some states are more willing to move ahead at implementing (or even agreeing to) environmental regulation than others. which they might be willing to do on their own) environment is to decrease the global economic disadvantage from doing so. Over the long run.

or import tuna caught within the organization’s rules and similar ones undertaken by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) have been deemed by the WTO Secretariat to “provide examples of appropriate and WTO-consistent (i. In some cases. The first trade approach is through the use of economic sanctions (restrictions in trade). domestic environmental protection is enabled by the assurance to domestic industry that it will not be disadvantaged by competition from those who do not have to undertake costly environmental regulation. In other cases. the lack of any serious challenge 14 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . are designed specifically for environmental protection.institutions that manage global or regional free trade to organize or acquiesce to measures allowing states to discriminate against or impose countervailing duties against products produced in cheap. environmentally harmful ways. There is plenty of evidence that these sanctions can play an important role in an environmental protection strategy.1 Within its findings against these particular trade measures. But the ways in which it has done so. By some measures.e. there are actually several approaches that might be compatible with underlying World Trade Organization (WTO) goals and priorities. and indications that the evolution of WTO processes on these issues would make such approaches increasingly possible. transship. the WTO has not looked kindly on efforts by states to impose restrictions in trade based on the environmental conditions of production. More recent efforts to construct multilaterally based restrictions on trade (such as the rules of the International Commission on the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna that require member states only to land. states have been persuaded to join international environmental agreements by the prohibition of trade advantages to those outside of the agreement. the dispute settlement process elaborates an increasing acceptance of environmental protection as a legitimate reason for restricting trade. and the statements the WTO has made even in the cases where these measures have been rejected. non-discriminatory) use of trade measures in multilateral environmental agreements. There have been several high-profile cases in which the WTO has rejected such attempts. Although there are those who anticipate the impossibility of such approaches within the current system of trade governance.”2 And in particular.. have laid the groundwork for the conditions of acceptable restrictions in trade for environmental reasons. as long as restrictions on trade are applied in a non-discriminatory way. and are accompanied by multilateral attempts to address the environmental issue.

” Article Six defines dumping as the process “by which products of one country are introduced into the commerce of another country at less than the normal value of the products” and disallows it. Article Six in particular suggests a way out of the current dilemma. The second approach is through the use of countervailing duties. .to multilateral organizations that use trade—in some cases. Article 16 of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade indicates that states must avoid granting any form of income or price support “which operates directly or indirectly to increase exports of any product from . and to apply subsidies to primary products only where doing so does not result in giving that party a “more than equitable share of world export trade in that product. but the other elements of the definition fit this process well. One measure of whether a good is being dumped is whether it is being sold for less than the price being paid for the good on in its domestic market. parties are required to cease granting such subsidies. . Subsidies are indirectly considered as things that result “in the sale of such a product for export at a price lower than the comparable price charged for the like product to buyers in the domestic market. directly or indirectly. as discussed in the first part of this essay. Both of these articles refer to the price of the good. in some cases.”3 Neither of these definitions quite fits the situation when a state implicitly subsidizes its industries by not internalizing the externalities of environmental costs into production costs. to create and oversee the regulation that some states are not adopting. to be applied in circumstances when states are subsidizing their goods or “dumping” products on foreign markets at below-cost prices. its territory. It is possible to conceptualize production of products in environmentally harmful ways as being produced with a subsidy (or. sold below what the cost would be were environmental standards adopted). especially if there is a broader global institutional process. by allowing countervailing duties to be assessed on goods that are improperly subsidized. like with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) where trade restrictions are its core method of operation—suggests the general acceptance of such strategies when undertaken in a multilateral context. on products other than primary products.” The agreement recognizes that granting such subsidies can harm other contracting parties and “may hinder the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement. or Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 15 .” In particular.

This approach recognizes that the current ways a country’s wealth is calculated—such as by measuring Gross Domestic Product—does not count environmental resources as a form of wealth until they are being extracted or processed. and ecosystem 16 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . or indirectly. upon the manufacture. Bank) to fundamentally change the way we calculate national wealth. The financial approach is much more complex. but would be deeper and far-reaching. production or export of any merchandise. This type of duty is defined as a “special duty levied for the purpose of offsetting any bounty or subsidy bestowed. for instance. Although there are major academic discussions Although there are major academic discusof environmental versions of sions of environmental versions of national national accounting.”4 States are allowed to assess a duty on these goods that is equal to the margin of dumping—the amount by which its price is unfairly lowered. Although it is difficult to imagine how such a change could happen. the economic activity that takes place in response to a major oil spill but not the damage to environmental resources that results. This application of a countervailing duty could be sufficient as a domestic political incentive to assure those who will be bound when a state undertakes environmental regulation on a global issue that they will not be unfairly disadvantaged on the global market by having to meet what is likely to be a more costly production process. In addition. and therefore on their willingness to take on measures that protect the global environment. a related effort to at least include valuation of natural resources in their unused state. for whatever goods they produce. it could have a major effect on how states measure economic and environmental well-being. initially. Although either of these approaches could be applied unilaterally by states.dumped. environmental disasters actually add to the official record of a state’s wealth by measuring. directly. it would accounting. If this kind of shift seems impossible or not useful. and has less of a current trajectory to build on. it would take agreement by take agreement by the major the major financial institutions (such as the financial institutions (such as International Monetary Fund and probably the International Monetary the World Bank) to fundamentally change Fund and probably the World the way we calculate national wealth. their orderly implementation would be dramatically improved by their oversight under the WTO system whereby unfair uses (or those simply designed as restraints of trade) could be adjudicated.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947: Article 6(3). Turtles and Trade: The WTO’s Acceptance of Environmental Trade Restrictions. R. as well as coordination by global trade. negotiation. Note by the Secretariat. and J. Global Environmental Politics 2(1): 12-18. MOVING FORWARD The key to envisioning a green economy is to imagine the realistic steps to get there.services provided by these resources. finance. and development institutions. WT/CTE/W/167. This paper outlines reasonable extensions of what existing institutions are already doing that would collectively improve the global ability to address environmental problems with international components. S. 2000. A shift in the conceptualization of how natural resources are valued can help avoid projects that destroy or use resources without providing the same value to the local or global economy as if they remain whole in their ecosystems. to allow states to be the first to take positive action to protect the environment without bearing an additional cost for their leadership. 1 DeSombre. 3 4 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947: Article 16(B)(4). and implementation assistance from global environmental institutions. E. should be used in global financial and development institutions considering undertaking or funding projects. The Environmental Benefits of Removing Trade Restrictions and Distortions: The Fisheries Sector. Barkin. Geneva: WTO 16 October. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 17 . 2002. 2 World Trade Organization (WTO). The collective action required can be accomplished by a combination of information.

18 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .

A priority focus on generating wealth—a prerequisite for all good things—was justified because it was the only sound way to generate the wherewithal to address other. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 19 . but a form of economic organization and priority-setting substantially different from the one that has dominated economic thinking in the richer countries for the past several decades. Accountability in the Green Economy by Mark Halle The opening assumption for this paper is that what is meant by “green economy”—as for example promoted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and many others—is not merely a redecoration of the traditional economy with green trimming. is more than a re-ordering of priorities. So powerful was this conviction among its proponents that some felt that it represented “The End of History”4—that with neo-liberal economic organization. Indeed a green economy. but it is not always easy to let go of the familiar. non-economic issues.” As we gaze at the ruins of the neo-liberal economic paradigm. Neo-liberal thinking has possessed such a strangle-hold on development since the days of Thatcher and Reagan and the articulation of the “Washington Consensus”3 that it was often considered to have the power of a religion. if not decades. strong accountability mechanisms will have to be built into the green economy from the start. it involves a significant rethinking of the assumptions upon which the traditional economy has been based.2.2 TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW Although the ideas underlying it have been floating around for years. humanity had emerged onto a sunny plateau on which efficient economic organization and the interplay of open markets would generate the wealth needed by society to address whatever social and environmental issues rose in its margins.1 If we are to avoid slip-back towards the traditional economy. This form of economic organization adopted by—or imposed upon— countries around the world was deemed to be the only one that worked or had a chance of meeting human aspirations within a framework of human freedom. it is eminently clear that something new is needed. thus conceived. the green economy is being promoted—we hope accurately—as “the next Big Thing.

the gap widened between those benefitting directly from the new wealth and those marginalized from it. it must lead us away from wasteful use of the earth’s resources and ecosystems. and from air and water pollution toward We cannot divorce economics from its clean. the fabulous wealth generated through neoliberal economics led to strong pressure for a cut-back in government spending and services. We cannot divorce economics from its social and economic underpinnings. 20 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . we must organize the economy in These factors are so important such a way that economic growth leads sithat economic initiatives multaneously to the creation of employment should be screened for their and livelihoods.While neo-liberal economics had its share of critics. it held governments and international financial institutions in thrall for decades. Capacity to generate wealth. Partly as a result. Far from permitting governments to address social and environmental issues. these tests must be augmented by new tests on the social and environmental side of the equation to ensure that a triple win is being pursued and secured. On the able forms of resource use. we must organize the economy in such a way that economic growth leads simultaneously to the creation of employment and livelihoods.6 contrary. the neo-liberal system collapsed under the weight of its own economic contradictions. competitive efficiency and other traditional tests of economic activity should not be set aside. And far from leading to a serene plateau on which sufficient wealth was available to address nonmonetary concerns. renewable. the new wealth led to an ever more frenetic effort to grow even richer.likely impact on employment. In seeking a form of economic organization that avoids the mistakes of neoliberal economics. and for their environmental footprint.5 At the same time. simply. and to the gradual elimina. On the contrary. increasingly through arcane financial instruments well-removed from the real economy. from the depletion of species. some things appear evident. And yet when the collapse came in 2008. and to the gradual elimination of social marginalization. tion of social marginalization. and sustainsocial and economic underpinnings. the economies foundered not because they were undermined by social unrest or overwhelmed by environmental destruction—instead. Generating wealth became an end in itself. social inclusion and justice. Its undeniable results in generating wealth allowed it to secure the political power needed to fend off criticism.

but because concern for social and environmental matters is an integral part built into the economic organization.WHAT IS THE GREEN ECONOMY? One could be forgiven for noting that this formula for a green economy strongly resembles the descriptions of sustainable development that have been floating around our society for a quarter century and gaining little more than intellectual ground—what the French call “succès d’estime” (or “critical success”). in the end. While opinions vary on which of the three pillars—economic. Therefore. as a result of the wealth generated. a green economy is one that takes us toward sustainable development. social. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 21 . there can be no doubt that the traditional economy has collapsed in part because it ignored the other two pillars to such an extent. then. Much sustainable development activism over the past decades has been a thinly disguised effort to give the environment priority over social and economic concerns. functioning economy is a precondition for addressing the other two pillars of sustainability. Launched in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission report. actions taken to reach economic ends also advance social and environmental ones. the reasons for insisting that development be placed on a sustainable foundation have been growing steadily stronger. neither has it been discredited. betraying a deep suspicion of economically driven motivation and doubting the attachment of the working masses to the natural environment. In a green economy. Once a green economy is fully in place. at least in objective terms. just as actions taken to meet social and environmental ends strengthen and develop the economy. Would it not be fair to say that the green economy is nothing more than a re-labeling of “sustainable development”? In some ways it is. calls to bring economic activity into a framework bound by the limits of the earth’s ecosystems and to give priority to social inclusion and poverty alleviation are now all too familiar. Indeed. it must be stressed. determine whether or not we are successful in addressing the problems of social marginalization and environmental destruction.7 A green economy recognizes that it is the form of organization of humankind’s economic activity that will. the others have a better chance of following—not. and environmental—should be given greatest attention. we might say that our form of development can be deemed sustainable. What. is new? Perhaps the most significant difference lies in the recognition that an efficient. If we get the former right. If sustainable development has not prevailed over the past quarter century.

and new approaches. because this is what we know. but if it is to avoid being specious. that the governments of the world forgather and adopt the basics of the green economy as their chosen form of economic organization. this is what we are familiar with—even if we would be happy to sample new ideas if they were genuinely offered. with the same materials as before. are ideas that are not particularly fresh but that have a new coat of paint and a freshly serviced engine. its precepts disgraced and its followers inclined to keep their heads down. A window of opportunity has edged open. public declarations—even when accompanied by solemn legal undertakings—are no guarantee that things will move in the direction suggested by the public pledge. the disadvantage of the present situation is that the window opened before we were truly ready to take advantage of it. new thinking.Still. like victims of an earthquake. so. We are in an intellectual environment in which assaults on orthodoxy are fair game. peppered by broken promises. but the gentlest wind could close it again unless the opportunity is seized. what are the boundaries of a green economy? At what point do we say that we have one in place? Surely this state would be reached several steps short of perfection. Is there anything we can do to change that? 22 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . within the framework of a robust and vibrant economy? Sadly not. the anointment of an economy as “green” must meet certain tests in terms of impact on sustainability. straggle back to our ruined houses only to rebuild them on the traditional design. where we are all casting around for alternatives to the discredited neo-liberal economic paradigm. In a sense. Fresh ideas are welcome. and compelling answer to the question: “What next?” Unless we do so. Could we then sit back and congratulate ourselves. the history of sustainable development is by and large the history of unsustainable development. confident that social and environmental issues have been set on a firm course toward a positive solution. to some extent. the likelihood is that we will all. Indeed. complete. But what are these tests. and we are all scrambling to come up with a robust. It is an advantage because the world is ripe for new ideas. If public pledges over the past three decades are anything to go by. THE NECESSITY OF ACCOUNTABILITY Let us imagine that the green economy grows wings and takes off. and who should apply them? It is both an advantage and a disadvantage that the movement for a green economy is taking place as neo-liberalism lies in ruins.

If the campaign for a green economy is to avoid this fate. whether these incentives are financial or not.8 As countability measures to ensure that politiwe design the new green cians cannot cynically gain points by calling economy.Early and strong attention to accountability is the only guarantee that promises of green responsibility in rebuilding the economy will lead—in a reasonably straight line—to green As we design the new green economy. knowing that they will never be held accountable for failing to deliver. In the case of the former. third party monitoring. That price must be sufficiently high that ignoring it is something decision-makers and politicians will not do lightly. Within the environment and development worlds. there are many examples of the successful use of both ”carrots” and ”sticks” to reduce the accountability gap. yet there is no systematic attempt to make these a central point in institutional design. there is a clear price to be paid for non-compliance. In the latter case. we responsibility dominating must flank that design with a series of acour economic behavior. and funding mechanisms to allow rewards to be offered and legal mechanisms to allow punishment to be meted out. Where perverse incentives are in place Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 23 . there are clear advantages to be gained from moving quickly and resolutely to implement what has been promised. institutional tracking mechanisms. again financial or otherwise. accountability measures to ensure that politicians cannot cynically gain points by calling for a green economy while busily rebuilding an economy along traditional lines. In the course of design. the easiest course will simply be to offer new promises. What sort of accountability measures might be envisaged? Accountability suggests that a price must be paid for not doing what one has promised to do. it must ensure the range of accountability measures is solidly in place as the green economy is constructed. we must flank for a green economy while busily rebuilding that design with a series of an economy along traditional lines. it is also fundamental to look at the present range of incentives and disincentives currently driving economic behavior to ensure that these are in line with the objectives of the green economy.10 It must ensure the series of incentive and disincentive measures is empowered by the right mix of legislation.9 This leaves politicians with the easy option to look good by promising miracles. When the time comes. Accountability measures can be in the form of incentives or disincentives.

Winnipeg. We must identify those positive practices that have the potential to be scaled up and replicated. Boston University: The Frederick S. Winnipeg. and R. Halle. and N. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). No. 5. A. independent of their level of development or of their contribution to economic growth or environmental destruction. M. and M. 5 Halle. 1 Najam. Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions. 3 Serra. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. and M. New York: Oxford University Press. New York: The Free Press. in the design phase—there is a real chance that the green economy will turn out to be just another ride on the global merrygo-round of broken promises and lost opportunities. The Case for a Positive Southern Agenda on Trade and Environment. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. E. and we must review the full panoply of tools that will make stronger accountability something welcomed by all countries. M. 2002. 2010. Runnalls. Halle. A. 2007. 2007. Papa. Taiyab. 7 Halle. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).. assess what has worked and what has not. M. A.. 4 Fukuyama. N. and R. It is vital that we gather best practices in this field. subsidies. Halle. tax breaks. D. and M. Sustainable Development Cools Off. Halle. M. privileged access to capital. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Meléndez-Ortiz (eds). 9 Najam. Halle. 2 Najam. The End of History and the Last Man. D. 2010. 1992. Halle. 6 Najam. Global Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Accountability. IISD Commentary. A. Stiglitz. and J. etc. Sustainable Development Insights. 10 Najam.g. 24 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . 2007. and M.(e. A. Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. If we fail to do this—and do it now. and identify what mix of carrot and stick works best. 2010. Chapter 2 in Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment. F. 2008. and M. it is important that these be removed or restructured until the factors driving personal behavior or consumer choice are aligned with the needs of the green economy.. 2006. Winnipeg. 8 Najam. Meléndez-Ortiz. Najam. A. The Washington Consensus Reconsidered: Towards a New Global Governance. Runnalls.). A.

and a whole range of other factors that affect prospects for improvements to the well-being of individuals and nations. it includes the impacts of trade agreements and instruments. Development Governance and the Green Economy: A Matter of Life and Death? by Tom Bigg “The real science of political economy. processes. is that which teaches nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life. systems. and decisions that affect the well-being and prospects of poor people and countries. The “green economy” is a similarly broad concept. At present there is a risk that the notion of a ”green economy” will be discredited. its political currency means that it is increasingly associated with short-term. incremental tweaks to the mainstream and with the search for comparative advantage. Ruskin’s challenge is highly relevant here: how can the world move toward “life” and away from “destruction”? Can we establish a vision of the world we want to live in 30 or 40 years ahead. which has yet to be distinguished from the bastard science. the exercise of power and rights at local and national levels.3. and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the things that lead to destruction. the functioning of markets. and a viable and stable economy in the longer term. and astronomy from astrology. and then track a path by which we can get there? Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 25 . access to and use of natural resources and land. as medicine from witchcraft.” John Ruskin Unto This Last. it belongs at the centre of national and global debates about how we could and should organize our economies and lives differently if we are to achieve environmental sustainability. not with challenges to the underlying drivers of change in our economies and societies. social justice. This goes far beyond the bodies directly charged with responsibility for achieving agreed development objectives. 1860 The governance of development encompasses the range of institutions.

world population was projected at 6. Predictions in Limits to Growth were also surprisingly accurate: for 2008. While world energy consumption was actually about 30 percent below the projection for 2000.Although the challenge for this essay was to scope out what development governance should look like by the middle of the 21st century. Both were officially sanctioned and closely linked with inter-governmental bodies. Many of the changes since would have been unimaginable. and discoveries all color our reading of prognoses from the 1970s and ‘80s. social change. they offered an impressive level of accuracy in the predictions made for global change over the past 30 years or so. What visions of the future and the means by which to realize them were set out 40 years ago. Only One Earth predicted that the global population would reach 6. However. about what’s improving and what isn’t. Both looked at the impacts of resource scarcity and growing human impacts on the planet—in other words. can we prioritize areas for action now that will move the world in the right direction and lead to life? PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE IN THE 1970s Forty years ago the world was a very different place. the authors estimated that average global temperatures could rise by 0. a look backwards is also needed. Both presented projections for key variables up to the year 2000. Let’s take two examples: the report produced for the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment Only One Earth (by Barbara Ward and René Dubos) and the much-maligned 1972 Club of Rome report Limits to Growth (by Donella Meadows et al. when the year 2000 was a distant prospect? What has been the experience of acting on and augmenting those visions during the intervening decades? What conclusions can we draw about the successes and failures. inventions. about what is no longer seen as significant? What have emerged as major challenges over that period? And finally. at development challenges and the capacity of markets and states to meet growing human needs. and the unpredictability of subsequent events.7 billion (actual figure 6. Looking back. and per capita industrial output 26 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .5oC by 2000 as a result of human activity.9 billion).5 billion by 2000. Both set out a vision of how the world should be in the future and the steps needed to get there. with the urban population overtaking the rural one around the end of the century—both within a few years of the truth. how should we rate their accuracy and what lessons can we learn from them? First.). three factors are particularly striking in the most prominent future casting from that period and are explored below.

continuing nature of the drivers of unsustainable. To pick just two of many examples. but half-hearted.1 Hall and Day. Presenting a strong analysis and a rational argument for change—appealing to the rational and enlightened to act—is not in itself sufficient. responses to the global ecological challenge.was estimated at 1. increasing amounts of capital and manpower will have to be diverted to cope with these constraints.” Looking back in 2004. logical. It means new conventions to draw up ground rules to control emissions from aircraft… It requires a new commitment to global responsibilities.9 times). and are still relevant because they have not been adequately addressed in the intervening years. argued that. leading eventually to declines in quality of life.”2 Second.3 Meadows et al. Only One Earth argues for “a new capacity for global decisionmaking and global care. and compelling. [Man’s global interdependence] requires coordinating powers for monitoring and research. It is a sad fact that humanity has largely squandered the past 30 years in futile debates and well-intentioned. were rather less on the mark.8 times 1970 levels (actual figure 1. Addressing the potential impacts of climate change. Ward and Dubos explored the tensions between environmental concerns and development objectives. Both of these points are at least as relevant today as when they were written. the recommendations for action to deal with these challenges are ambitious. Projections for birth and death rates globally. Third. however.” conclude that “there is growing evidence that the original ‘Cassandras’ were right on the mark in their general assessment. as natural resources are placed under growing strain and limits are reached. along with numerous other analyses of the power dynamics and barriers to progress underlying the two publications. and the corrosive distrust that could derail global action. the authors of Limits to Growth conclude: “We are much more pessimistic about the global future than we were in 1972. about the dangers of the continued growth of human population and their increasing levels of consumption in a world increasingly approaching very real material constraints. inequitable development they identified.”4 Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 27 . the key drivers of change and the dilemmas to be addressed identified in the two reports remain largely in place. if not always in the details or exact timing. The purpose here is not to point out how prescient these authors were (though this is certainly true) but to highlight the intractable. in their work “Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil.

progress is partial—and there is little evidence of positive change in the poorest countries. but by economic calculations of 28 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . While we already have a composite long-term vision of where the world should be going. Furthermore. However. WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE “GREEN ECONOMY”? There are two principal ways in which the green economy concept offers the potential to move beyond the stalemate that has mired most international negotiations on sustainable development over the past decade or so. the projections into the future. although states have made commitments to address environmental challenges and tackle poverty and the lack of access to basic resources. incremental steps that can get us there.We can draw some broad conclusions from this short and partial summary. The most pressing challenge is to develop the tactics and tools for incremental change in critical areas that can start to move our societies and economies in the right direction. and the growing influence of countries that have no desire to cede power to international agencies or give up elements of sovereignty means any supra-national framework for action is a long shot for the foreseeable future. they do not in themselves offer the ”magic bullet” that will shift the mainstream. While further assessments and reports are useful in sustaining awareness of key trends and potential tipping points. we lack clarity on the immediate. and the practical tools for action needed to deliver effective and fair development in conjunction with better stewardship of natural resources and systems to safeguard the planet for future generations. and the difficulty of achieving strong global regimes to effect change at a time when multilateralism is on the retreat. the hierarchy of policy and politics in almost every country which places environmental issues towards the bottom and economic growth and military security at the top. Incorporation of “green stimulus” elements in the financial recovery packages in 2008–09 was not driven by an environmental lobby. We already have the information. The reality is that moves toward a more sustainable and fairer world are up against some tough constraints: the interests of powerful constituencies that defend their turf and can manipulate the political system to stymie change. using the wealth of data and analysis generated over the past 40 years. Green economy is a term used by new and surprising sets of actors. the intellectual arguments. appeals to enlightened self-interest and the need for global action have very limited traction.

and planning for much lower carbon intensity production as a result. “greener” business models and patterns. mal economic activities such as farming. the likelihood is that the rich and powerful will draw away from those at the other end of the scale rather than act in solidarity. anticipated scarcity in access to fossil fuels and “rare earth” minerals (to pick just two examples) are driving policy and technological efforts to shape alternative futures. and the structures of governance that can make these a reality. Private sector actors are anticipating major shifts in markets and resource availability. Furthermore. Within many countries. And as noted above. countries. they provide around 26 percent of wealth in the poorest countries. this does little to address the need for greater fairness in the distribution of resources and opportunity. informal forestry. instruments.5 Within developing countries. the economics of scarcity and uncertainty are stimulating significant efforts to develop alternative. there is little sign that supranational institutions and commitments will strengthen over the coming decades. While environpopulation derives 57 percent mental assets provide just two percent of total wealth in the Organisation for Economic of its gross domestic product Co-operation and Development (OECD) from ecosystem services. can we articulate that links global equity inextricably with a new green economy? What institutions. and fisheries. Poor countries have much to gain from a focus on the green economy. However. In periods of rapid change and uncertainty. While environmental assets provide just two percent of total wealth in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. rapidly emerging economies have the potential to expand energy provision and plan for urban growth without having to undo the legacy of a century or more of outmoded infrastructure and associated patterns of social behavior. While seven percent of India’s GDP is directly attributable to Poor countries have much to gain from a services from ecological systems. What compelling vision. and levers of influence might be needed at global level to make a greener economy also a fairer one? Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 29 .the potential for job creation and economic resilience. In short. The potential for major change seems more real than at any time since the early 1970s. the figures are even more striking. then. they provide around 26 percent through small-scale or inforof wealth in the poorest countries. the poorest tenth of the focus on the green economy. animal husbandry. So far so good.

Could we not begin to lay the basis for that new community with reasonable relations among all people and nations. given current trends and political pressures. and to build a world in which sharing. freedom and peace might prevail?”6 The vision that we have carried since the early 1970s. allocating environmental benefits and costs fairly to achieve a more just and equitable society. active support for local diversity and accountability as critical factors in building economic resilience.THE VISION As Willy Brandt stated in the Brandt Commission. First. we could be in a position where a range of public goods are funded through instruments that act as a tax on “bads” and reward “goods. It is a vision of environmental governance that restores and protects the resilience of ecosystems and the biodiversity within them. As development experts Keith Bezanson and Francisco Sagasti put it. development is not so much a problem to be solved as a condition from which to evolve. and third. 30 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . second. a shift from development aid to payments for public goods. “A new century nears. communities. What are the key characteristics of an effective governance system at an international level that can help deliver these assets around the world? I propose three major elements that could usefully inform the incremental progress we should aim for over the coming three to four decades. It seems highly unlikely. benefits for individuals. and at much more ambitious levels. First. and with it the prospects of a new civilization. and most fully articulated in Our Common Future. and thus secures the many services they provide. there must be socially just payments for public goods. It is a vision of development that uses natural resources sustainably. as well as economic. justice. This already demonstrates the potential for money and other forms of support to be transferred that dwarfs the aid budget (notwithstanding huge flaws in governance and lack of vision). and to help secure the benefits of a stable and functioning climate system for the planet. In its place. that “official development assistance” in its current form will still exist by 2050. and society overall. a leveling of the playing field so that environmentally sound and socially just practice is rewarded across the spectrum. is of an economy that produces a range of social and environmental. We can already see the rapid emergence of a system intended to increase global capacity to address the impacts of climate change.” Countries should be enabled to shift from reliance on aid to receiving payment for services that safeguard significant resources.

Crucial to the success of this transformation would be to avoid creation of some gargantuan bureaucracy while still facilitating the effective transfer of funds and other resources (know-how.) through a diversity of channels. of course. However. However. A second crucial factor is to recognize and respond to demand for support. being able to identify problems and propose solutions is of little value if the perpetrators are able to ignore the prognosis and calls for change. what we need is the capacity to assess where prevailing rules and instruments are reinforcing unsustainable practice and the means to challenge them. one significant implication should be the strengthening of local and national systems of accountability. a future alternative should recognize local specificity and particular contexts in which positive change is possible and find ways to support these effectively. but not to dominate the activities. or agency: As we have seen earlier. The third attribute needed is power. innovations. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 31 . The implications of this shift are huge—and there’s no space to explore them further here. a long way from the realities we face today. Development to date has been overwhelmingly supply-driven. Our economic models and accounting systems exclude environmental costs and assets from calculations. It is quite clear that there are significant barriers to moving towards a greener global economy and society that are built into the fabric of our world. which means these still have little value in financial terms. and it is hard to see how we could arrive at a governance regime able to achieve this level of influence. and a limited number that have a seismic global effect. An inter-governmental governance framework is necessary to provide oversight and legitimacy. It will be essential to identify the most important international governance changes that are needed and present a clear and compelling case for change. This kind of approach will only be effective if it demonstrates three characteristics. an effective and coherent global system would require this capacity to identify and change existing drivers of change. The first of these is the capacity to prioritize: There are a multitude of things wrong with the way the world functions that have a negligible impact on critical sustainability factors. Our system of shareholder value imposes a terrifyingly short time horizon on all publicly listed companies. As above. This is. international development governance is not best placed to oversee and “manage” each of these areas. etc. The second characteristic is subsidiarity: Only issues that cannot be resolved at lower levels of governance should be tackled at global level. it is time to level the playing field. Second.

local diversity and accountability must be supported. Ruta. The governance and planning of urban centers will be (and already are) crucial in determining future patterns of energy use.” 4 Meadows. Dubos. A. Pedroso-Galinato. S. C.csiro.pdf. Tajibaeva. C. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). 2009. North-South: Co-operation for World Recovery. .: The World Bank. Markandya. Randers. 3 Ward. American Scientist. The Brandt Commission. How do we know. W. that this new concern with the environment is an honest one? . 6 Brandt. and J. G. Accountability for decisions taken and policy coherence is most needed at the local level to ensure that the progress made in meeting social and environmental needs at one level is not wiped out through conflicting measures or actions at another level. Day. B. 32 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .). rewards for livelihoods. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing. Available at http:/ /www. natural resources. D. P. Opportunities to Most of the critical factors in determining create ”green jobs” depend whether the “green economy” becomes less on international factors a reality will be played out at local and than on local characteristics national levels. The fact that the developed nations’ increased interest in the human environment has coincided. S. 1972.C. W.au/files/files/plje. among some of the wealthiest of them. 2004. Foreword to Common Crisis. Day. 2 Hall. A. they argue. Available online at http:/ /files. See also Turner. All of this takes place outside the purview of international governance. . 5 Hamilton. Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update. 1 Hall. Where is the Wealth of Nations? Washington D.. and in addressing trans-national factors that impede progress at lower levels of governance.globalmarshallplan. the availability of skilled labor. K.pdf. 97(2). M. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.. employment.. and R. comparative advantage through location. Lange. S. Silva. and J. Meadows. Ordoubadi.org/inhalt/coc_2. Most of the critical factors in determining whether the “green economy” becomes a reality will be played out at local and national levels. A. A Comparison of ‘The Limits to Growth’ with Thirty Years of Reality. S. (e. 284) “Some developing governments fear that tighter environmental controls might be used as further barriers to their overseas sales. D. W. 2009. regulations and incentives put in place by local and national governments. and L. Only One Earth. consumption of natural resources. Where there is a key role for some form of global action is in legitimizing such activity where useful. in making connections between different contexts to enable learning and collaboration. and J.g. K. Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil. investment options. G. G. 2005. and so on. etc. Bolt. 2008. 1983.Third. with an apparent loss of concern for development assistance does little to allay such fears. (p.

Moreover.” In Adam Smith’s words. bringing together modern economics and the foundations of the moral philosophy of welfarism. thus welding economics to the natural resource realities of today.”2 Today. Governance of International Trade for the Green Economy by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz* “If a term has many diverging definitions. such aims refer to an inter-generational imperative as well.4. and social policies that supports human subsistence and freedoms over generations. our economic Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 33 . the rapidly integrating global market. in the context of sustainable development. For none of the main ideas of our civilization has a single meaning. Essays in the Public Philosophy (1955) ON ECONOMICS AND SUSTAINABILITY In its simplest formulation. good citizens promote the “welfare of the whole society. explain and predict human behavior” to inform “prognosis and policy” in the service of sustainability. it is better to begin by assuming that it is full of meanings. by capturing the negative externalities of our natural resource use. not by the “good of man. and the blinding pace of technological innovation supporting it.1 Sustainable development requires that economic actors be guided by an Aristotelian “god-like” aim. If economics intends to “understand. moving it beyond the assumption that utility sufficiently explains individual behavior and that certain “natural” laws govern market exchanges. tinkering with concepts of classical economic thought may not give us all the tools that we now need. the “green economy” refers to economics in the name of sustainability: a system of interactions among markets.” Walter Lippmann. It calls for a reformulation of economics in the direction proposed by Amartya Sen. We need to ensure that institutional arrangements and decisions do not hurt our ability for maintaining or improving future living standards. Sustainability broadens the study of economics. environmental forces.

In the absence of a formal worldwide authority. governments will need to work innovatively within and across institutions. Climate change impacts are complicating the picture even more. Increasing wealth in the developing world—a good thing—involves changing diets and boosting demand for resource-intensive food. Shaping and managing this intersection is the governance challenge. and sustainability which requires welfare to be non-decreasing in all time periods. where meeting basic human development needs and aspirations entails increased resource use. and in which efforts are accountable to multiple stakeholders. 34 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . the current trading system—which encompasses the multilateral rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) together with the growing landscape of bilateral and regional trade agreements—is not yet fully equipped to steer economic activity towards new pathways. energy. We are also in a world of global economic and social multi-level governance.”3 We need to provide incentives that protect rainforests rather than turn them into charcoal.4 Getting these rules to reinforce each other and work together coherently is critical. which requires welfare to be above a threshold in all periods. We need to distinguish “between survivability. However. Population growth is concentrated in the poorest countries. this is not an option available at the multilateral level. finance. While national governments can establish sustainability directives for ministries. which puts more pressure on nature and energy systems.” recognizes a system that operates under formal and informal rules and practices arising from multiple sources. To do this. Global “governance. Several crucial sustainable development policies will have ramifications for commercial exchange. how can we get to sustainability? And what is the role of institutions in the creation of a green economy? THE GOVERNANCE WEB Trade and sustainable development hinge on institutions.” rather than “government. The challenges are manifold. We are currently transitioning from a world of plenty into one in which the planet’s resources have been compromised in their ability to sustain our routines. From the perspective of the trade system of today. New policies governing investment. governments need to ensure that domestic and international institutions interact constructively to pursue sustainable development goals and not work at cross-purposes.institutions and systems should be managed so that we can live off the dividends instead. and knowledge are necessary to harness economic activity into modes of production that favour resource conservation.

which brought agricultural tariffs and subsidies into the scope of multilateral trade rules. failed to correct these practices.5 At the same time. from minerals and labor to knowledge and soil. many developing country farmers got caught in the middle. A more complex narrative comes from the incoherence of governments’ pursuit of a fundamental global developmental goal: food security. Correcting these problems requires an Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 35 . Most of the decisions necessary to set the planet on a course to sustainability will not be made within the trading system. The idea is simple enough. There are ample opportunities for policy-makers and influencers to ensure that trade-related policies do not detract from the pursuit of sustainable development. where we produce it. but governments have a record of taking with one hand what they have given with the other. but virtually all such policy decisions—from the internalization of environmental costs to policies that encourage innovation—will impinge on trade: what we produce.Let us have no illusions about the trading system’s capacity to play a driving role. nearly one human in six still does not get enough food to lead a healthy and active life. and protections for foreign investors. When food prices rose in 2007–08. they have too often ignored the developmental effects of their trade. immigration. can influence. investment. Decades of low productivity and low farm prices pushed many small farmers in developing countries to look for other sources of income. The classic example is levying high tariffs on goods exported by aid recipients. Individual societies’ abilities to govern domestic resources are affected by the international regulatory systems for trade and investment—systems that they. The Uruguay Round trade talks. By conflating development policy with development aid. and how we exchange it. standards. and environmental policies. One problem linked to trade governance is well known: Rich country farm subsidies and tariffs push down prices and weaken incentives for developing country governments. Yet. Trade and investment policies determine allocation and use of resources. they became net buyers of food. the trading system must remain true to its own principles and not allow environmental policy to become a pretext for governments to engage in discriminatory practices or pander to influential domestic economic actors. to invest in agricultural production and build roads and the other rural infrastructure necessary to support it. in turn. Some policy will overlap with issues now dealt with by international trade rules. or the private sector. such as intellectual property. In the process. which has been an international policy objective for decades.

evidence-based approach that allows countries to rise above commercial and mercantilist interests and conclude the WTO’s Doha Round. Coherent, cooperative action on land-use across the governance board—whether on forests, water, biodiversity or climate—is another urgent need that must be addressed. BUT… It is not possible to look at trade governance processes in isolation from broader governance challenges. Modern international institutions must operate in circumstances they have never had to confront before: an increasingly multi-polar world. No single actor can impose its will on others. Moreover, the worst financial and economic crisis in decades has devastated some of our core assumptions about the global economy. As a result, major powers now disagree on fundamental aspects of how economies should be organized. Concordant beliefs and expectations are necessary to motivate action and change in international regimes. Even though “policy coherence” is a phrase used too much and followed too little, it is a concept to which we must return as we begin talking of building a “green economy.” Our collective failure to produce global public goods, such as updated multilateral trade rules that respond better to poor countries’ needs or curb greenhouse gas emissions, has been due at least in part to an inadequacy of what has been called “cosmopolitics”—“global political action transcending a strict state-to-state, or multilateral, basis.”6 DOING WITH WHAT WE HAVE—INCREMENTALLY The rules and practices embodied in the multilateral trading system offer governments ample potential to take action on current and future challenges linked to sustainable development—it’s just that governments have not purposefully taken advantage of them yet.7 Making trade governance more supportive of sustainable development will require governments to change their behavior. Networks that bring together civil society, business, international organizations, and governments have done sterling work on several challenges, from public health to environmental protection and corruption. But trade institutions largely remain an enterprise between governments. Moreover, the “legislative” or rule-making function of the WTO and other trade institutions is likely to remain limited to government participation only. Outside input into their “ideational” function—identifying which issues to discuss, and potential solutions—is desirable, especially from non-traditional sources (i.e., those other than business). But here too, governments will play a central role.
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Even if a “trisectoral network” analogous to the World Commission on Dams was created to bring governments, business, and civil society together to think through the challenges of making the trade system contribute positively to a green economy, any recommendations would have trouble being heard at the WTO unless the initiatives received member governments’ blessing. To make sense of a chaotic and disorderly system, the hundreds of preferential trade arrangements of various types and coverage is a good place to start. The WTO has failed miserably to bring consistent rules here. A continuing black mark for the trading A continuing black mark for the trading syssystem is the vastly uneven tem is the vastly uneven capabilities among capabilities among governgovernments to assess their own needs and ments to assess their own needs and grasp the implica- grasp the implications for global challenges tions for global challenges of of the complex web of arrangements. the complex web of arrangements. And the development of such preferential agreements in a closed, competitive approach results in a fragmentation of markets at various levels. One proposal, a review by a Global Task Force of Ministers, may help minimize inefficiencies and complexities inherent in the current system. This may lower the bar of meaningful participation from Olympian heights and make coherence more plausible. On this same path, countries need to update trade rules that are not working for sustainable development. The de facto differentiation among developing countries that has emerged in the Doha Round negotiations could become a springboard for a bold experiment in giving nations more policy space to respond to risk, unsustainable situations, or vulnerabilities. Parties to bilateral trade agreements could alter investment provisions so that they are not used as a sword against legitimate health and environmental action. WTO members could act to anticipate potential challenges to trade governance that might arise from governments’ pursuit of sustainable development, enabling a nimble response. WTO members would do well to build on existing subsidy rules to identify and target government handouts that damage the environment; for example, government procurement rules and standards on process and production methods or measures addressing carbon content could be developed following non-discrimination principles, ensuring prevention of disguised protectionism.

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In the past few years, countries have been able to provide expression in trade terms—through particular prescriptions for market access, for instance—to the intractable concepts of food security, sustainable livelihoods, and rural development. They have done it in the context of Doha’s negotiations by recognizing and classifying the particularities of specific products in terms of agro-ecological conditions, nutritional intake, employment relevance, and a long list of indicators that despite its hard reality would otherwise be unapparent to multilateral policymaking. While the possibilities are there, countries can only shift direction and rearrange objectives if driven by compelling vision and political leadership. BROADENING THE SYSTEM Issue-specific cooperation outside trade-related institutions could amplify the contribution that trade governance could make to sustainable development. For instance, while continuing the slow process of reducing rich country farm subsidies inside the WTO, governments collaborating in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) could agree to a tax on farm subsidies, with the proceeds directed at funding agricultural research and development and extension services in developing countries.8 Having to pay extra for the privilege of subsidizing would potentially make governments think twice about lavish farm programs and their international consequences. Investing a share of subsidy money directly in boosting agricultural productivity in developing countries would amplify the effects of the WTO’s subsidy reform process. A farm subsidy tax may be wishful thinking. But a different trade issue with direct ramifications for food security—including agricultural export bans—will be impossible to address without serious complementary policies. Sudden bans of farm exports are not good policy: Not only do they “starve your neighbor,” they discourage investment to boost future production.9 But export bans do make a lot of sense to a government faced with rioters demanding cheaper food. Similarly, growing rice in solar-powered greenhouses, fed by groundwater and cooled with seawater, seems preposterous from both a cost standpoint and an environmental one. But Djibouti started doing it when it felt that it could no longer trust world markets for its food supply.10 Action outside the WTO could enhance the sustainable development impacts of the Doha talks to liberalize trade in environmental goods and services. Research in renewable energies suggests that tariffs are just one in many factors determining whether companies choose to invest in green technology.11 Other policies,

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and means to effect demonstrable change is still to be fully developed. and the use of renewable energy tax breaks. the Kyoto Protocol unleashed climate mitigation funding for developing countries. subsidies for components. matter at least as much. More immediately. as well as the sharing of benefits that arise from them. Within two to three years of implementation. resources at a magnitude of approximately $5 billion per year were flowing. total new commitments from bilateral. In 2006–2007. A4T and climate financing may be addressing similar and synergetic objectives: from specific analytical and policy capabilities. to include a genetic resources disclosure requirement for patent applicants. ways. while also serving as a repository for best practices on the protection of genetic resources. This flow of funds is expected to ramp up to $100 billion per year by 2020 to attend to the adaptation and mitigation requirements of developing countries. multilateral donors and others had reached over $50 billion. material needs. Today. In moving towards a green economy.12 At the same time. by harmonizing standards or making them interoperable. Similar institutional subsidiarity action is called for in the case of regulation of use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. an Aid-for-Trade (A4T) initiative has been established at the WTO involving major international financial institutions. and establishing incentives for the sharing of trade secrets linked to green technology—it would substantially expand the market for environmental goods. and challenges to competitiveness. Operational realities will dictate the obligation of addressing trade and climate financing in a coordinated manner.such as “feed-in tariffs” guaranteeing a price for renewable electricity. Commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the December 2009 Copenhagen Accord have lined up $30 billion for immediate release in 2010–2012. which provides the global baseline for patent rules. Governments could act at the WTO to amend the intellectual property agreement. If a group of governments got together and cooperated on these other factors—for instance. to shifts in production. as is an efficient and responsive governance scheme. consistency in financing responses becomes urgent as the international community comes to grips with wants of developing economies in the face of emerging challenges. a key aspect of building incentives for the protection of biodiversity. Lessons learned in the financing Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 39 . The Convention on Biological Diversity could finalize a protocol spelling out the rules guiding access to those genetic resources. A sound understanding of needs. The World Intellectual Property Organization could develop an instrument to protect folklore and traditional cultural expressions.

A. should inform the push for coherence. The Wealth of Nations. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 34: 299–354. 2007.of climate change accords and the elaboration of national adaptation plans of action. 40 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . 3 Munasinghe. forthcoming from Cambridge: Cambridge University Press in 2011. A. by R. A. Searching for Southern Agendas on Trade and Environment. Biswas. World Bank Environment Paper No. Yet it is a system informed by a theoretical perspective of economics and the homo economicus questionable from a sustainability perspective. FINAL THOUGHTS ON TRADE AND THE GREEN ECONOMY Today’s trade system may be incapable of steering the world into a “green economy. 1776: 1904. and M. Halle. 9(3): 367–384. * This short essay borrows partly from Trade Governance and Sustainable Development. Devising an institutional apparatus that brings together donors with recipient countries around the goal of coherence and coordination is a primary task in the governance of trade for the green economy. A. Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. A firm political will. E. but only if societal concerns are introduced in an operative manner and responsive adaptations to the system are added in strategic steps. articulated in the form of a compact for shared vision agreed upon at Rio+20. Meléndez-Ortiz. Washington. Cannan.” It is. S. WTO Cosmopolitics.3. . Cambridge: Basil Blackwell.Ltd. as well as the World Bank’s endeavour to draw poverty reduction strategy papers as basis for development financing. Halle. Smith. however. Deere Birkbeck. C.). Meléndez-Ortiz. ed. 4 Najam. Najam. a wisely constructed governance device. 5 Najam. R. 6 Charnovitz. (ed. Global Governance. with valuable principles for the management of interaction among members at different levels of development. M. 1 2 Sen. in Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Countries. DC: The World Bank. possible.. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. In the absence of a review to A firm political will. A. may trigger reform and make it possible. Meléndez-Ortiz and T. 2002. 1987. tinkering with of a compact for shared vision agreed upon what we have may move us at Rio+20. The Case Against a New International Environmental Organization. 1993. Chapter 1 in Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment. 2003. London: Methuen and Co. and R. may trigger reform and make it closer to shifting pathways. articulated in the form complement it. Establishing a governance system for trade that supports the green economy would take time—whether ruinously too long is in our leaders hands. On Ethics and Economics. M. And time is the real test.

” letter to the Financial Times. Bridges Trade BioRes Review 3(3). 11 Jha. Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009: Maintaining Momentum. 8 September. Martin. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. 2008. A. Ryan. 12 OECD and WTO. The New York Times. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 41 . 5 March. 2009. Trade Governance and Sustainable Development. “Let’s counter the damage of subsidies. and T.org/i/news/bioresreview/64027. 21 July. Paris and Geneva: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Trade Organization. V. 2009. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. C. Reuters. M. Biswas. in Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Countries. 2008. 8 9 10 Biswas. Mideast Facing Choice Between Crops and Water. Trade Flows.7 Meléndez-Ortiz R. Deere Birkbeck (ed). Forthcoming 2011. Barriers and Market Drivers in Renewable Energy Supply Goods: The Need to Level the Playing Field. December. T. ‘”Starve Your Neighbor” Policy Roils Food Trade. Available at: http:/ /ictsd. 2010.

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we also make growing demands on each other and our political institutions. and markets that engender sustainability rather than undermine it. and firms around the world. security. If we are to have a more developing and deploying a few “cleaner” technologies and shopping for more ecoequitable.1 Crucially. Consuming Environments: Options and Choices for 21st Century Citizens by Stacy D. produce. we need to be citizens. As we make enormous and growing demands on the earth’s resources. Frankly. and consumption. states. more sustainable 21st century. “we” humans consume resources very unequally. we must address friendly products. the earth cannot sustain the material throughput of seven to nine billion people in the coming decades. the many developmental the connections between eco. it is not only the dramatic and growing ecological costs of our species’ massive use of resources that concern many activists.and environmental goals the international community has set for the next decades will logical degradation. if all consume as many resources If the green economy refers mainly to as the wealthiest billion do now. And. VanDeveer Our world’s $70 trillion economy. rather than simply consumers and employees. the many developmental and environmental goals the international community has set for the next decades will not be met. and trade vastly more than ever— and we emit more wastes into the global environment than ever. with nearly seven billion humans in more than 190 independent countries. scholars.5. The wealthiest one to two billion drive global consumption. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 43 . human not be met. Yet. If the green economy refers mainly to developing and deploying a few “cleaner” technologies and shopping for more eco-friendly products. We need states and international institutions that work. extract. makes truly unprecedented demands of the earth’s resources. We grow.

But to understand global resource politics. and they lurked beneath the global ideological struggles of the Cold War. as well as the subject of politics and activism in local communities and within families. and global environments in the process. More analysis that connects international politics among states over access to natural resources with the causes and ramifications of accelerating resource consumption is needed. Examples of this fact abound. abuse. Whether the things we 44 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . or the means to raise the money that fuels weapons purchases or oppressive patronage networks and authoritarian governments. (2) The world is a very unequal place. AND REALITIES Humans have been fighting over resources. national. Furthermore. Resources are centrally important in politics among the world’s great military and economic powers. and social processes have pushed the local and global politics of resources back into the top tier of issues in world politics. and ecological destruction. and share them. So is a deeper examination of attempts by states. Traditionally. Resources can be the subject of military conflict. They have paid less attention to the growing material consumption in the global economy and to the inclination of global markets to push ecological damage and humanitarian degradation out of sight of consumers and their political representatives. GLOBAL CONSUMPTION IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD By now it is well known that we humans are consuming vast quantities of natural resources and changing our local. political.RESOURCES. The 21st century’s globalizing economic. we start by accepting three facts and trying to think thoroughly about their connections and ramifications: (1) Consumption uses things up. and firms to curb the ecological and humanitarian abuses incumbent in contemporary global markets and consumption. international politics scholars have focused analysis on state cooperation and/or conflict dynamics around issues of resource control and access. INTERNATIONAL POLITICS. and cooperating with each other to trade. Concerns about access to oil. everything comes from somewhere. The resource/commodities trade has long fueled and funded violence. uranium. and other critical resources were integral parts of planning and strategy in World War II. manage. throughout our history. (3) Scarcity can induce both human cooperation and conflict. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

then we must remember that consumption happens at every stage or within every transaction along commodity and product chains.5 Can such trends be globalized without engendering more violent conflict and without massive ecological and humanitarian degradation? Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 45 . and mined are often quite grim—in ecological and humanitarian terms—and often unregulated. and disposal. beef. using 30 percent fewer resources to produce each dollar or euro of gross domestic product. captured. harvest. use. and bottled water continue to grow as the number of automobiles in the world passes one billion on its way to two billion and beyond. with every interaction. It obscures the costs (often called the ecological and human externalities) of our activities. Through complex commodity chains.3 The same study also notes that we have become more economically efficient over time. Can this process continue? By 2005. We also know such consumptive patterns and institutions are being replicated around the world (mostly) by wealthy urbanites in many countries. North American consumerism begets a lifestyle associated with ravenous consumption of resources—energy. humans consume about 50 percent more natural resources than they did 30 years ago.consume are grown. the prices of goods do not reflect the costs— environmental. social. harvested. or manufactured—or some combination of all of these—they come from somewhere. production. extraction.2 At every stage.4 Such lifestyle choices globalize some of the most ecologically damaging and inefficient aspects of Northern consumer culture. and sell the things we use in our daily lives. foods. According to one recent estimate. the environmental and social implications of the things people consume are hidden or distanced from their everyday lives. things are used up. mined. In the 21st century. distribute. Americans used 50 billion bottles of water in a country where tap water is safe to drink in almost every location. design. For example. with people in wealthier countries consuming 5 to 10 times as many resources as those in poorer ones. these “somewheres” are often geographically and socially distant from most “consumers. or political—incurred in their growth. In other words. If we are to understand ever-expanding material throughput in our world (and global resource geopolitics). finance.” People and communities are involved in the complex international processes that create. The social and environmental conditions in which things are grown. and products of all types. Distancing of the implications of consumption severs feedback of information and ideas between socials groups involved in commodity chains. Every transaction along these chains or webs of economic and social relations consumes resources. minerals. human. trade. consumption of fossil fuels.

citizen emits almost 20 metric tons of carbon each year. Chinese per capita emissions are about five metric tons.6 These lives living on less than $2 per day). nor do they drive global resource scarcities. The world’s poor and lower income citizens do not drive growing global overconsumption or accelerate global competition for resources. the world remains a very unequal place. Africans. Europeans—and increasingly unknown to urbanites in booming cites around the globe. about 80 percent of the global population lives on less than $10 per day—about what it costs to see a film or buy a couple of beers in much of the global North. In fact. regularly expeAs global consumption grows. Nor is their consumption driving the global economy and its growing demands on the earth’s resources. Hundreds of millions have no access to clean water or medical care. with similarly high standards of living. Almost one billion people live in even more desperate poverty—on less than $1 per day. Almost one are nearly unimaginable for billion people live in even more desperate most North Americans and poverty—on less than $1 per day. Contemporary concern about consumptive and social justice aspects of “globalization” has resulted in a host of state and non-state attempts to address the negative environmental and social conditions in producer communities around the globe.7 So. while the African population grows much faster than that in North America. and average per capita emissions for India and most of Africa are less than two metric tons per year. the average European or Japanese citizen emits less than half of that. per capita. than they were in the 1970s.8 billion people live no hope of improvement in in poverty (defined by the World Bank as these conditions.8 billion people live in poverty (defined by the World Bank as living on less than $2 per day). About 40 tion. About 40 percent of the world’s 6. however. will suffer the consequences of the global climate change they did not cause. In recent years. or China. the world rience hunger and malnutriremains a very unequal place. Europe. More than 50 countries (more than a quarter of the total number) are actually poorer. While the average U. Let us use carbon emissions as an example.As global consumption grows. Africa also plays host to many of the violent and ecologically damaging aspects of global resource trade and politics—and the world’s largest states and industries play key roles in these politics. scholars’ attention to consumption issues has grown.S. and live with little or percent of the world’s 6. it is not Africans whose consumption is rapidly changing the global climate. as the aggregate demand of our species continues to increase and as the environ46 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .

Oxfam.mental and human health implications of global resource consumption mount. what can be done? Several sets of policy options currently pursued and/or suggested by analysts around the world are designed and championed by non-state actors in Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 47 .8 Environmental and social justice advocates have also turned their attention to combating overconsumption and to ecological and humanitarian costs of unregulated. Few want to return to Stone Age lifestyles or life spans. So. and effectiveness. Even if it were possible for higher income societies and consumers to stop consuming commodities. Furthermore. and thousands of other NGOs are working tirelessly to reduce the environmental damage and human exploitation accompanying the growth of global wealth and trade. and humanitarian issues raised here? What is already being done? What is working? What can we learn from innovative attempts to enhance sustainability occurring at different scales across the global North and South? Such questions and their answers must animate the analysis and debates in Rio and beyond. Fair Trade International. Hundreds of millions of people in the global North and South depend on commodities markets for their livelihoods. and manufacturing around the world. contributing to our understanding about the evolving roles of public. or badly regulated. OPTIONS. and private sector organizations. design. Friends of the Earth. AND POLICIES What can be done about the many environmental. and around which to enhance cooperation. NON STATE-LED ACTIONS. The good news is that there are a host of non-state-led and state-led efforts underway from which to draw lessons and build knowledge. A reasonable estimate is that nearly 150 million production workers (non-retail) and nearly 500 million households depend on the production of basic commodities. mining. to attempt to reduce corruption and improve governance in areas such as diamond mining and the oil and gas sector. Global Witness. security. and with international organizations. agricultural production. to say nothing of those who now reap the tremendous benefits modern societies and economies afford. throwing hundreds of millions of families out of work and leaving them without any means of support would not beget sustainable development either. private. Analysis of these diverse efforts yields insights about their origins. some states are working together. and civil society actors. WWF.10 This number does not include the millions more dependent on the production of thousands of finished goods. NGOs.9 Organizations such as Worldwatch Institute.

and evidence of impacts and effectiveness associated with these types of non-state led activism and governance. and the increasing institutionalization of social responsibility and sustainability initiatives within many of the world’s largest corporations and industrial sectors. All build on. public sector actors and institutions may still play important roles. So. Some initiatives are (occasionally) designed to reduce aggregate material throughput in consumer societies or (more often) to address specific aspects of the ecological and humanitarian damage stemming from the contemporary. government bodies may decide to purchase certified goods whenever possible. existing and ongoing political action and institutions. AND POLICIES State-led policy options are also proliferating and under analysis around the world. operations. In fact. Prominent examples include certification and labeling associated with the Fair Trade movement and its thousands of products. • certification and labeling schemes. from local to global. In other words. non-state-led initiatives remain heavily reliant on and involved with states and the state system.civil society and/or the private sector. or to convene meetings and take other actions to engender corporate responsibility initiatives or disseminate their insights. most of the options may be deployed or 48 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . and • ethical consumption/purchasing movements and campaigns. Four overlapping types of initiatives have dominated recent practice and scholarly attention: • awareness raising and education. OPTIONS. Most may be deployed or experimented with at multiple levels of social organization. Some are designed to reduce aggregate material throughput in consumer societies. Again. globalizing political economy. and draw lessons from. Research has begun to assess the origins. While these initiatives are not primarily led by state actors. many of these non-state-led initiatives are most active and influential where states function most effectively. for example. STATE-LED ACTIONS. globalizing political economy. while most are intended to address specific aspects of the ecological and humanitarian damage engendered by the contemporary. the Forest Stewardship Council and the Kimberley process. • corporate social responsibility. the work of Transparency International to reduce corruption and improve governance.

Reasonable national policies to reduce some types of consumption or increase efficiencies—such as carbon or energy taxes. from local to global. the European Union has demonstrated that setting and implementing the globe’s most stringent policies can in fact serve to advance (not limit) one’s economic and political interests. then addressing issues of overconsumption in Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 49 . such as within international trade or environmental agreements. These can be imbedded in global international law. Some states can and do act unilaterally. So most states need not wait for global agreement on everything (or anything) to act. or developed and promulgated by non-legally binding (or voluntary) initiatives such as those spearheaded by UN organizations. Others act in groups. • tax externalities. • adjustment of subsidies. transnational and inter-state cooperation often require effective institutions and organizations. As other contributions to this report argue. in contemporary politics and markets if environmental and social standards are to be raised. PROTECTING OR CONSUMING EACH OTHER? If global sustainable development is also about improving the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalized. The growing analytical literature suggests that state action remains powerful. • effective international standards. or the reduction of ecologically damaging subsidies—can be effective absent global agreement about them. research in both wealthier and developing countries suggests that states can accomplish tasks and accrue advantages by enacting such policies even when other states have not. product efficiency standards. effective policies and regulations are often required. and • building governance capacities. So. and sometimes uniquely essential. In some areas of energy and environmental policy.experimented with at multiple levels of government.11 States can also seek to work through existing or newly established international organizations to set and implement standards and guidelines. Five overlapping types of initiatives currently receiving attention include the following: • national regulations. Furthermore. if national and global energy efficiency is to be rapidly improved (thereby reducing energy consumption and polluting emissions). for example.

Making Globalization Work. Axelrod. Ethical shopping therefore should not be expected to substantially reduce human and natural exploitation or the violence and oppression associated with resource markets on their own. New York: W. Conca. 2009. Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability. Norton & Company. T. 2006. 4 Worldwatch Institute. non-state-led and state-led without exceeding the capacity of our initiatives outlined above planet’s ecosystems. economic. without exceeding engender a high quality of life for all of the the capacity of our planet’s nearly seven billion people of today and the ecosystems. New York: W. nonstate governance. 50 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . As the list of nine to10 billion expected by mid-century. Gordon. illustrates. MA: MIT Press. if the character and outcomes of global politics and markets are to be altered and transformed. Battle to expand bottle law heats up. 2007. Commodity Chains and the Global Environment in The Global Environment: Institutions. 2011. grinding poverty. In sum. W. 8 October. Confronting Consumption. 2009. Law and Policy. Overconsumption? Our use of the world’s natural resources. and D. M. and D.at/news/2009/09/24/overconsumption. Consumption. economic.some societies cannot simply mean consigning others to perpetual.C. The options listed above—and many more—require engaged citizens at multiple levels of authority and across public. Vital Signs 2007–2008. private.: CQ Press. When do people act as citizens. D. 6 Stiglitz. there is a growing menu of options facing domestic and international actors in the global North and the South.to 10 billion expected by midlitical. D. private. R. 1 Parts of this argument are based on VanDeveer. Norton & Company. firms. Sperling. J. 2002. L. we can ask whether people—citizens—want a global politics designed to protect humans and nature from exploitation. and states. and K. Cambridge. Maniates. VanDeveer. and nature. D. 5 Abel. D. but they cannot substantially alter the foundational international economic and political dynamics. 3 Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI). rather than as consumers? Similar questions can be asked of NGOs. 2009. It also illustrates that changes must occur in the public. The Boston Globe. S.. 2 Princen. W. The challenge of greater sustainability—political. S. Vienna: SERI. Third Edition. Available at http:/ /seri. and civil society sectors— changes that produce more effective and more sustainable states and markets. and social—is to ensure or century. and social— is to ensure or engender a high quality of life for all of the nearly seven billion people of today and the nine The challenge of greater sustainability—po. Oxford: Oxford University Press. or a politics designed to facilitate consumption of things. Informed consumer purchasing decisions may slightly reduce negative implications of some individual purchases. and civil society sectors.). Downie (eds. Inc. people. Washington D.

State of the World 2004: The Consumer Society. Dauvergne.pdf. D. Available at http:/ /tinyurl. Selin.. 2006. Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives. W. New York: W. 9 SERI. From Ecological Scarcity to Ecological Security: Exploring New Limits to Growth. Global CO2 Emissions: Increase Continued in 2007. The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment. D. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 51 . The Logic of Sufficiency. VanDeveer (eds. et al.com/CO2increase. 2009. Norton & Company. and S. Aldershot: Ashgate. M. Available at assets. and K. 11 Selin. Worldwatch Institute. Schreurs. 2008. Cambridge.7 Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Princen. MA: MIT Press. H. 10 Figures compiled by the author. Cousins (eds. 2002. 2009. 8 Princen. H. MA: MIT Press. Cambridge. 28(10): 6-17. Raising Global Standards: Hazardous Substances and E-Waste Management in the European Union.org/downloads/living_planet_report_2008. and S. Bilthoven: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. 2008.. 2005.). Living Planet Report 2008. Cambridge. D. 2005.). Environment. 2008. 2004. Switzerland: WWF International. VanDeveer. WWF. T. MA: MIT Press. Pirages. P. T. panda.

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in particular in BRIC (Brazil. India. in particular in the major developing countries—has seen both processing and consumption shift increasingly to developing countries. most directly in the hydropower sector but also in nuclear and thermal power stations reliant on water coolant systems and in a wide range of manufacturing industries. With this diffusion of demand and production centers. Russia. Its Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index highlights the rise in the manufacturing competitiveness of three countries in particular—China.2 The continued growth of manufacturing and consumption hubs around the world. promotion of sustainable consumption—through the market power of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries’ consumers—will no longer be enough to drive change down supply chains in the coming decades. Industry and power generation will feel the effects of water stress. and food to water. as well as the distribution of resources. Managing the Challenges of Interlocking Resources by Bernice Lee Environmental change and resource constraints are adding to the complexity of international relations in an already turbulent world. water. and the Republic of Korea (Korea). is likely to lead to a consolidation and expansion of regional production networks. India.1 They also have significant impacts on the global political economy. Increasing globalization of supply chains—combined with higher incomes and population growth. There Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 53 . Council on Competitiveness points to a “new world order for manufacturing competitiveness” in less than a decade. A study by Deloitte and the U. political. The anticipated production bottlenecks—in food. energy. and the production of other critical natural resources and infrastructure—are bringing new geophysical. It is now widely understood that astronomical demand growth from an emerging economy—driven by decades of industrialization and urbanization—is re-drawing the landscape for resources.6. energy. bringing new questions in respect to international law and the management of international regimes. Water and land are likely to become increasingly important drivers of new investment decisions. and economic challenges.S. and creating new and hard-to-manage instabilities. from minerals. and China).

5 State-backed Asian resource investment strategies are changing the business environment for competitors in extractive industries and other infrastructure investments in developing countries.S. will their power as rule-setters in international markets and the global economy fall correspondingly? Will the increasing dominance of the newcomers change the business models and operational assumptions? Lessons can be drawn. Asian countries already prioritize long-term bilateral resource supply deals for oil. for example.6 Societal responses to resource threats—potentially exacerbated by climate change impacts—will change the established patterns of relations between producers and consumers of energy. Emerging Asian economies have doubled their share of global output in the past two decades. non-OECD member countries as a group could account for as much as 57 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) on a purchasing-power parity basis. Neo-Malthusian concerns about over-consumption and resource scarcities are not new. And the search for water is already one of the driving forces 54 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . and political change. they have been around—and growing—since the 1960s. China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy in terms of nominal GDP. As traditional OECD importing countries decline as consumers in relative terms. $3. Today. the most famous being the Club of Rome’s report titled The Limits to Growth. even though its per capita GDP—at U. from the oil and gas markets—manifest not least by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) moves to include China and India in its strategic supply mechanism. In the transition to the global green economy. The traditional consumer and producer blocs will be less able to influence oil prices over the mid to long term. Before new models of global governance of resources are developed or old ones adapted—each with different operational assumptions and a different mix of consumer–producer dynamics—perceptions of insecurity will likely encourage stronger long-term strategic investments by the most import-dependent countries across the sectors.4 In 2010. gas. and coal. and other natural resources. food.3 The combined effect of this resources demand growth together with shifting wealth to emerging economies is yet to be thoroughly analyzed and translated into policy planning practices. the environment.has also been renewed interest in issues relating to resource security. sealed with political and economic support. there will be winners and losers. for example—and that will increase volatility. The increasingly blurred dividing line between developed countries and the emerging economies is likely to create new and difficult dynamics for the governance of the new green economy. for example.678—is still one-tenth of Japan’s. By 2030.

and other resources are already facing serious pressures. driven by demographic changes and shifting consumption patterns. Especially in the developing world. At the policy level. These interlocking climate. including the possibility of a dramatic change of paradigm vis-à-vis resources access and use.9 Climate change impacts are expected to exacerbate these pressures. energy security. fisheries. especially when dealing with complex issues with long-term time horizons and high scientific uncertainty. and the upward trend in costs for many resources together constitute significant new risks. the implications of dangerous climate change for security and political stability are increasingly recognized by the foreign policy and defense communities. resource. As states and markets navigate their pathway towards delivering a global green economy. Despite increased recognition of the need to manage resource security and the potential political fallouts. the consequences of bad policy choices—and the cost of inaction and policy failures—should receive more attention. and development problems are increasingly understood as key accelerators to the range of risks and vulnerabilities policymakers and citizens need to manage in the short. or usable water. although to what extent will depend upon the policy choices that are made in the coming years. Following the financial crisis of 2008.in the recent wave of deals between some of the major emerging economies and Arab Gulf states to secure land for agricultural production overseas. and longer terms. The Center for Naval Analysis report says climate change can Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 55 .8 The impact of water scarcity is also likely to grow significantly in the future. policy-makers and businesses must have a firm grasp of the challenges ahead in a resource-constrained world. 75 percent of the global population could face freshwater shortages. Policy planning runs the risk of preserving the prevailing assumptions and mindsets in terms of risk management. THE SECURITY IMPACT OF A RESOURCES-CONSTRAINED WORLD Food. This paper will explore three key dimensions that will pave the way for more responsible markets for a global green economy. water. medium.7 Individuals in the middle and upper classes increased resource consumption by more than 200 percent between 1960 and 2004. whether cropland. water availability. these interlocking issues are rarely considered in a systematic fashion by governments and industries. By 2050. rangeland. Total consumption on this scale would exceed the tolerance thresholds of ecosystems and resources.

National Intelligence Council completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten U. the upcoming high-level panel on resources could put forward a range of practical international mediation mechanisms to mitigate or manage future resource-related conflicts.and long-term strategies the political. and management. Second. a range of worst-case scenarios could be developed to enhance understanding of potentially dangerous geo-political and economic impacts of policy failures in this area.” Currently available technologies can deliver significant benefits. for example.become “a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world…”10 In 2008. these impacts might also spark a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice. terrorism. Forecasts for the number of people moving because of environmental degradation and climate change vary widely. This means that in addition to considering the economic viability of green options. moving to lower carbon options may not be a complete escape from the security of supply issue. First. new technologies are needed to meet a range of goals. However. and water crises (and the response mechanisms to them). economic. Most of the discussions on technologies focus on economic viability and cost. especially those relating to energy demand. or of unlikely but highly consequential events triggered by climate. we must also explore issues around material availability and the politics of resources access. RESOURCES SCRAMBLE FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES? To move into a global green economy. the U. could become yet another driver of future patterns of resource use. and security impacts of the worst-case scenarios. the needed transformation of the energy sector to meet climate and supply security concerns has been described as the “third industrial revolution. use. or conflicts over water and other resources in specific countries. For example. Most actors have yet fully to consider and factor into their short. Environmental change-induced migration. But many new green 56 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . mass movements of refugees.13 In the run-up to Rio+20.S.11 The Sydney Morning Herald reported in early 2009 that an assessment completed in 2007 by the Australian Defence Force concluded that climate change and rising sea levels posed one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific. food.S.12 Risk management involves the consideration of extremely disruptive events and the implications of policy failures and/or inaction. the international community can come together to comprehend the risks of business-as-usual planning and practices around resource access. energy. depending on which of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios occurs. ranging between 25 million and 1 billion. security in the next 20 years by causing political instability.

In 2008. November 2009 Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 57 . as seen in Table 1 and Table 2.technologies and materials will need to be either developed or scaled up in the coming decades. November 200916 Table 2: Material Use of Other Environmental Technologies Source: Materials Innovation Institute. These green technologies may require the use of a range of materials in significantly greater volumes. November 200914 Source: Materials Innovation Institute. Table 1: Material Use of New Energy Sources Table 1: Material Use of New Energy Sources Source: Materials Innovation Institute. like renewable energy. nearly one quarter of all investment in new generation was in renewable energy (excluding large hydropower)—a fourfold increase since 2003.

Rio+20 provides an excellent opportunity for policy makers to come to grips with the resources and materials dimensions of new technologies. such as neodymium. growth in China’s domestic consumption will leave no capacity for export. has placed restrictions on the global trade of some materials with the associated impact on the material availability and/or price.16 The new. there are important considerations for policy-makers and the wider business community. and 80 percent of the rare earth magnets. The predicted availability and price of a material will be an important consideration in the development of a particular design of a technology and will ultimately determine a technology’s viability. the United States. including clean energy. 58 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . The increasing national control of resource governance. Currently. Those related to battery use. are expected to grow at 10 to 16 percent between 2008 and 2012. while those used in the manufacturing of batteries may grow between 15 and 20 percent per year. Let’s take the example of rare earth metals (REMs). Australia. almost 100 percent of the associated metal production. citing domestic use for economic development as a reason. etc. using rare earth permanent magnet generators. and to propose new public-private mechanisms in managing resources security for the green economy. Within the next 5 to 10 years.The development of new energy resources—as with the current options that they seek to replace—comes with new material and resource risks.S. Vietnam. require approximately two tons of rare earth magnets per windmill. Japan to new plans to reopen or establish new rare earth mines in South Africa. as will its environmental and resource-use implications. This may involve a range of voluntary agreements to share critical resources in exchange for knowledge transfer. While many of these factors may only affect the individual manufacturer at the current time. and the European Union. China produces 97 percent of the world’s rare earth supply.18 But trade tensions over access to REMs illustrate the type of conflict that may proliferate in a resources-constrained world. These must be considered in risk assessment of new technologies. China recently imposed export restriction on a range of REMs.15 High growth rates are forecasted for many REMs. Canada. which is creating tensions with the U. a group of 17 elements whose unique properties make them indispensable in many advanced technologies.17 Increasing awareness over the need for REMs has already triggered rapid supply responses: from the re-birth of metals recycling in Kosaka. as in the oil sector in the recent past. more efficient wind turbines.

and civil society leaders can co-convene a High-Level Panel on Sustainable Supply Chains to put forward a transformative vision that takes into account environmental as well as equity concerns. Markets for low-carbon energy products are likely to be worth at least $500 billion per year by 2050. according to the Stern Review.19 HSBC recently forecasted that the low-carbon energy market will triple to $2. It also exceeds the $530 billion turnover of the aerospace and defense sector. Unless incentives in international markets are aligned towards both environmental and resource goals. This could include piloting a comparable set of criteria for labeling and other tools for specific products.20 While shifting economic power may erode the strength of OECD consumers in greening the supply chain. for example. interdependence in global supply chains means that the market power of green consumers can continue to be harnessed in driving sustainable business practices and innovations strategies. companies and governments that are moving fastest will gain significant competitive advantages.2 trillion by 2020. even well-meaning initiatives and efforts will not necessarily deliver the public policy outcomes needed for the green economy. This race for green solutions is already evident in low-carbon sectors. Environment and resource risk-related exposure of companies and governments will continue to come under increasing public scrutiny in the coming decades. biodiversity and other environment-related factors. and perhaps much more. progressive governments.MAKING MARKETS RESPONSIBLE FOR RESOURCES FOR THE GREEN ECONOMY Addressing resource security questions would require generating multiple public goods from the same production systems or sectors. Water constraints. It is also critical for policy-makers to reaffirm the key role of an open trading system in delivering cost-effective green goods and services. As awareness of resource and environmental stresses continues to rise. innovation and investment in green goods and services is set to expand rapidly. Listed companies in the climate change sector already surpassed the Stern estimates in 2008— reaching a global turnover of $534 billion. On the occasion of Rio+20. Voluntary or mandatory reporting is increasingly common on carbon and is likely to extend to cover water. will provide business opportunities through innovation in water-efficient technologies and practices. businesses. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 59 .

2008. Final Report to the Commission on Sustainable Development meeting (CSD-13). H. National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. 6 Lloyds and Chatham House. Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. “As China and India become major players in global energy markets. 2008. Executive Director of the IEA. Cerium (Ce) and Lathanum (La) to 35. The Limits to Growth. Paris. 2009. 87(2): 63–77. Molycorp Minerals. 3 Meadows. 23. The energy challenge. 14 Material Innovation Institute. International Food Policy Research Institute. “National intelligence assessment on the national security implications of global climate change to 2030. 2010. Terbium (Tb). 7 Stockholm International Water Institute. Center for Naval Analyses. A. 2 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and U. Arctic meltdown. E. 2005.” Nobuo Tanaka. and E. January 15. International Affairs. Mark A. it makes sense to share views with them on our common energy challenges. Climate change threatens Pacific. Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index. Harvey. Delft: Material Innovation Institute. Lloyd’s 360 Report. Center for International Earth Science Information Network. November. LLC House Science and Technology Committee. HSBC Global Research. 17 China has imposed export restriction on Neodymium (Nd). December 6.S. M.” New York.. Written testimony. 2010. to U. Economic growth puts global resources under pressure. Smith. Migration. F. 8 9 Taylor. M. M. B. 4 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Behrens III. Stockholm: Stockholm International Water Institute. 2008. Congress. D. 2010. Pierce. and International Water Management Institute. LLC. The New York Times. 2010. Reuters.000 tons per year. 16 New Energy Finance. Let It Reign: The New Water Paradigm for Global Food Security. 2008. VA: Center for Naval Analyses. See also Borgerson. H. Chief Executive Officer. September 17. Material Scarcity Platform in the Netherlands. World Finance. Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Businesses. “Rare Earth Minerals and 21st Century Industry. Randers. 2007. Low-carbon industries come of age. Columbia University. T. Smith. G.1 Lee. Foreign Affairs. Europium (Eu).” March 16. Perspectives on Global Development 2010: Shifting Wealth. “Rare Earth Minerals and 21st Century Industry. and to completely stop the export of Thulium (Tm). 2009. Written Testimony.S. 15 Smith. 5 International Energy Agency (IEA). Press release. 10 U. Written testimony by Thomas Fingar. September. October 4.” March 16. 11 Fingar. 85(6): 1101–1116. Yttrium (Y) and Lutetium (Lu). May 23. pp. 1974. classified report warns. Molycorp Minerals. 12 Taylor. June 26. 2010. 2010. climate change and the environment. IOM Policy Brief. Unearthing the Rare Earth Market for Clean Energy Investors.S. Alexandria. Chief Executive Officer. Press release. 13 International Organization for Migration (IOM). Executive Summary. Nature 452: 285–6. p. See Smith.” 25 June. 2009. 6 January. 2010. 60 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . Sizing the Low Carbon Economy. Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Hightower. Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Dysprosium (Dy). Financial Times. M. and S. Managing the interlocking climate and resource challenges. J. House Science and Technology Committee. 2007. London: Pan. Geneva: IOM. R. 2008. Arctic conflicts. 2009. 2009. “Climate change may challenge national security. Council on Competitiveness. 18 19 20 Tabuchi. World Conservation Union. S. 13–16. Mark A. Japan Recycles Minerals from Used Electronics. 2009.

needs to go through a low-carbon phase in the first two decades—we cannot wait until 2050 to make all the changes.7. These time constraints are based on the science of climate change. mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning of fossil fuels. namely the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). all countries have agreed to protect the global climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The transition. reductions of 80 percent or more compared to 1990 emission levels. and particularly the estimates of global emission reductions need a chance to limit global temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius. Under the UNFCC. They have also agreed to take actions to reduce their emissions to prevent danger- Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 61 . With regard to the global governance of climate change (and hence energy) there is a well-established global treaty. the combination of energy sources powering our society—must be transformed from a system mostly dependent on fossil fuels to a portfolio that emits significantly less carbon. energy mix—that is. which was signed and ratified by practically all countries of the world in the early 1990s. The main features of what the global energy Over the next two to three decades. the global emits significantly less carbon.1 They have recognized the potential dangers of global warming due to the continued emissions of greenhouse gases. the system should look like global energy mix—that is. Climate and Energy by Saleemul Huq A future green economy needs to avoid dangerous global climate change and do so within the context of sustainable development. that is. to be completed by 2050. but also other warming gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). as assessed periodically by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Over the next two to dependent on fossil fuels to a portfolio that three decades. the combination under those circumstances of energy sources powering our society— are now generally agreed must be transformed from a system mostly upon.

is in the details.ous climate change. by how much.4 Yet. parties to the UNFCCC agreed that developed countries should take the lead in combating climate change. This essay outlines a few ideas for possible ways to achieve that energy transition in governance and institutional terms and within the context of what we are now calling a “green economy.S. The “costs” of mitigation are highlighted in nearly every policy document on mitigation. India. FROM BURDEN TO OPPORTUNITY The failure of global institutions in dealing effectively with the climate change problem under the UNFCCC (despite some limited successes such as the Kyoto Protocol) has been mainly due to the prevailing paradigm under which the weaning of national energy systems from fossil fuels towards cleaner (non-polluting) sources has been seen as a burden rather than an opportunity.” These ideas are based on two decades of involvement in and observation of the UNFCCC’s development and implementation. which is the richest and biggest polluting country) and the developing world (primarily China. Instead it achieved nothing but a rather meaningless “Copenhagen Accord” with limited legal and doubtful moral value. and China) capturing. and among developing countries. according to the principle noted above.S. which countries need to act first. South Africa. and the EU. The devil. as always. and at what rate?2 These questions remain fraught with geopolitical tensions.5 62 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . For example. the (economic) opportunities of mitigation are seldom discussed. most climate investment. which has a fast-growing economy that has already made it the world’s biggest net emitter of greenhouse gases). with BASIC (Brazil. best illustrated by the divergences between the U. This divide manifested itself in the spectacular failure of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. Copenhagen was supposed to achieve the agreement that would become the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol.. leaving some of the poorer and most vulnerable countries feeling left out. for example. as well as debates regarding the failure to achieve the Convention’s stated goals of preventing some level of dangerous climate change. Thus the main arguments have been between the rich countries (mainly the U. with the main divide occurring between the rich countries (named in Annex 1 of the UNFCCC) and the rest of the world (called the non-Annex 1 countries in climate change negotiations parlance).3 There are also some differences among developed countries. Furthermore.

a number of large oil producers have also begun exploring opportunities in non-fossil fuel energy production. if the world is to see a massive energy transition. and China. they are likely to also appreciate that by taking action to avoid such a fate (for example. if the world is to see a massive energy transition. Although their stance in global negotiations remains tentative. there is little likelihood of achieving an ambitious global treaty. and these cost reductions are creating opportunities for energy production in countries that have hitherto been energy importers. Indeed. Indeed. namely the U. Not only is Abu Dhabi Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 63 . and ecosystems in their own countries. which is also a major oil producer. This situation can change once countries like China and India realize that a global temperature rise of over three degrees Celsius (which is where the world is currently headed) will cause very severe impacts to people.S. and if a transition is to be made they do not wish to stay out of whatever the new “green economy” will look like. by not tapping the vast coal reserves they are sitting on) they may also be hastening the transition to a low-carbon energy mix.This failure stemmed from the reluctance of the two biggest emitters. They know better than anyone else the benefits of being major energy producers. Costs of wind and solar energy are already beginning to decrease. tunities exist. it is sive change. A case in point is the tiny Emirate of Abu Dhabi. the transition is laden with future opportunity. to agree to meaningful reductions in their emissions. it could create opportunities for all countries. And definitely not the kind of post-2012 (when the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol expire) treaty that most people had hoped for in Copenhagen. But the opportunities that exist in the post-fossil fuel world are not limited to only these very large economies. Even if switching to a carbon-free energy mix might cost more in the short term. it could create opportunities While it is true that large uncertainties can loom within for all countries. While it is true that large uncertainties can loom within such a massuch a massive change.6 With this realization. There are already some signs (particularly in China) that they are beginning to realize this potential and are preparing to become the leaders of the upcoming post-fossil fuel world. agriculture. As long as they and others continue to see the short-term costs of reducing emissions as paramount to the longer-term benefits of avoiding dangerous climate change. it is also true that large opporalso true that large opportunities also exist.

India. Making these one billion people change their high-consumption lifestyles will take either major behavioral changes (which is very unlikely in the short term) or drastic national policies to reduce fossil-fuel dependence (for which their governments have not shown any political willingness so far). then we will be locked into a fossil-dependent future for a very long time. This would need innovative thinking in terms of technologies as well as policies to allow these populations to leapfrog from relative poverty to improvements in quality of life without the associated high per capita carbon footprint of the richest billion. if these two or three billion could be provided with a good life and high development—a legitimate aspiration on their part—by investing in non-fossil fuel energy. and Brazil.7 On the other hand. THE SECOND AND THIRD BILLION ARE KEY My second point stems from the fact that an overwhelming majority of the world’s past and current greenhouse gas emissions—if assigned to people by taking wealth (with associated high consumption and hence high emissions) into account—can be attributed to the richest one billion people (most of whom live in the rich world but with significant numbers also in the developing world). it now also hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)—a signal to the world of its interest in green energy. And that would mean any hopes of stabilizing stratospheric carbon would be doomed. and diets high in meat. but instead moving our institutional attention to the second (and third) billion richest people on the planet—a large proportion of whom are urban dwellers in the fasterdeveloping countries such as China. Indeed. These two to three billion also aspire to the same high-consumption lifestyle. They may well be the real architects of a new “green economy” for the future. and to itself of where the future is headed. the fact that there is now such an agency is itself an indicator of the recognition that an energy transition is now not only inevitable. 64 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . air conditioners. flying across the world. South Africa. but they have yet to attain it. then much of the future greenhouse gas emissions may be avoided and a real “green economy” enabled. but also that it must be institutionally managed if it is to be globally relevant. and if their energy needs are met by investments (which are largely still to be made over the next decade or two) in fossil-fuel systems.boasting a massive effort towards creating a zero-emission city and embracing cutting-edge green technologies. If they follow the path to lifestyles that include multiple cars. So perhaps we will be better off focusing not on this top one billion. Indonesia.

Nevertheless. and therefore most able to change. This is where the argument for assertive global governance comes in. of course. Institutionally. is that precisely because of their poverty. That is. and Bangladesh) are leading the world in tackling climate change at home (both through adaptation as well as mitigation). that the rich have caused the problem but the poor will suffer the consequences first and hardest. and likely to do so at less cost. THE MOST VULNERABLE MAY LEAD THE WAY The main victims of the failure of the global leaders assembled in Copenhagen last December are the poorest people living in the poorest countries—mostly in Africa and Asia.” Global governance investments in cleaner energy in poor countries Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 65 . The problem. This is not because their emissions are large or because they are being made to do it. they are sending a proactive signal to the rest of the world about what needs to—and can indeed—be done. Costa Rica. Therein lies the “win-win. there is also a conceptual logic to this. While most of our existing institutions are caught in thinking about mitigation and carbon management. They are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of even a two-degree global temperature rise. and in terms of the transition to sustainable development. Institutions of sustainable development should be investing in these countries to speed up the transition to cleaner energy.The global governance challenge is to create institutions that can unleash such innovative thinking. but because it is the right thing to do. some of these poor and vulnerable countries (such as the Maldives. The fact that the emissions of the poorest billion humans living in the poorest hundred countries account for less than five percent of global emissions only highlights the inequity and injustice involved in the climate change problem—namely. what we need are institutions that can think in terms of the development requirements of those whose needs remain unmet today. Indeed. and should do so for development reasons much more than for climate reasons. we need institutions that focus on this middle two to three billion and are concerned about triggering an energy transition that can meet the legitimate energy aspirations of this critical cohort. the poorest countries are also the countries that are least locked into the fossil fuel economy. The Maldives (whose emissions are miniscule) has decided to become carbon neutral in the next decade. Moreover. even these lesser costs may be well beyond their means. Thus the rest of the world may actually be able to learn lessons from some of the poorest countries on the planet when it comes to making the transition to a global green economy.

who may hold the key to speeding up a transition. While their emissions may be globally negligible. As long as climate change action is considered a “cost. mostly in rapidly developing countries. But it is the second and third billion people. their climate-change actions and policies may serve as example and inspiration to the rest of nations. institutional arrangements are needed that will focus on sustainable development. Finally. We think of them as the likely “victims” of global climate change. CONCLUSIONS A shift towards the green economy will require a transition of the energy system to deal with climate change. Second. but they can also act as change agents. 66 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .” prospects for action will be dim. This shift will need to occur in the context of sustainable development when global governance institutions are shaped to view energy as a development issue but without devaluing its carbon implications. then there will be hope for action.yield development benefits and should be both perceived and made as sustainable development investments. First. More importantly. we must not underestimate the role of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. specifically making the energy system independent from fossil fuels at the global level. These are the populations for whom the new investments in energy are being made. assisting them in their own energy transitions will create development benefits for them and could be a cost-effective means of triggering the larger global transition. most of today’s emissions are by the richest billion people on Earth. When climate action is considered instead as both cheaper than dealing with the consequences and an opportunity for leadership in the post-fossil fuel world. All three ideas require a shift in the global governance of climate change to move away from its primarily carbon-based and principally mitigation focus to a more developmental focus. This article has offered three possible ideas towards this goal. It is only in the context of sustainable development that a “green economy” can be conceived or implemented. How these investments are made will determine whether we are locked in a carbonintensive or a decarbonized world. For this to happen. countries need to recognize the opportunities imbedded in energy transitions.

. 2002. 7 Satterthwaite. Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. 2006. and 15. S. London: International Institute for Environment and Development. 38 (8): 4582–4591. Tables 3.. Tripping points: Barriers and bargaining chips on the road to Copenhagen. China. 2 Jinnah. Stern. The implications of population growth and urbanization for climate change. 4.1 Najam. A. F. D. 2009. Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Views from the South. 2010. Bushey. 5. India. Sokona. Najam. Energy Policy. 4(3): 4003. Mexico. D. 2009. Kulovesi. and South Africa. Huq. Environmental Research Letters. Climate Policy. Muñoz. N. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 67 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Climate negotiations beyond Kyoto: Developing countries concerns and interests.. 4 For example. Understanding developing country stances on post-2012 climate change negotiations: Comparative analysis of Brazil. A. M. 5 See for instance 2010 Climate Policy. 2003. 6 Ronga. and Y. 3(3): 221–231(11). 3 Sokona. Y. S. Huq. and S. and K. 10(6). London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

68 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .

and environmental. internal redundancies. there is a high awareness of threats to forests and numerous efforts have emerged to address them globally.8. and local programs for sustainable forest management. but that to understand the complexities. There is growing awareness that the present system of development is rapidly and irreversibly eroding all three pillars of sustainable development: economic. sustainable development governance has evolved rapidly. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 69 .2 On one hand. So. social. These challenges relate to the increasing complexity of GFG: (i) complexity of issues. and although we spend many billions of dollars yearly on regional. The governance system we have today reflects both the successes and failures of this process. ironically. we characterize global forest governance (GFG) as a subset of the broader sustainable development agenda. it has to be placed within the evolving concept of sustainable development. the GFG system has outgrown its original design and intent in terms of addressing the problems and societal goals that led to its creation. and inherent inefficiencies have combined to have the perverse effect of impeding the achievement of sustainable development worldwide. we are still not able to stop or reverse the loss of 13 million hectares of forests per year.1 Against this background. The GFG system we have today is one of mixed results. national. Transforming Global Forest Governance by Hans Hoogeveen and Patrick Verkooijen Since sustainable development entered the international agenda in the mid1980s.3 We assert that global forest governance and diplomacy is facing the same problems and challenges as those of other aspects of sustainable development governance. fragmentation. not withstanding the rather spectacular growth in awareness and initiatives. interlinkages. challenges. although a “non legally binding instrument on sustainable management of all forests” was agreed upon. Although sustainable forest management has been high on the international agenda since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. The current governance’s high maintenance needs. In this paper. we take as our point of analytical departure that GFG is not only a cornerstone of sustainable development. and nuances of GFG.

building upon the analysis of GFG. In the absence of an incentive system. This paper argues that instead of asking how the fragmented and complex GFG system can be restructured into a top-down regime. trade and economic development. and growopment issues. biodiversity. COMPLEXITY OF ISSUES As many commentators have argued. trade and economic development. the competing claims for land use will increase the pressure on forests worldwide when the potential of agricultural productivity enhancement is not fully captured. The world today faces one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: how to feed nine billion It is important to realize that forest issues are people in 2050 in the face of complex and have multiple perspectives and climate change. First. it is estimated that around 60 percent of tropical forests are at risk of deforestation over the long term. 70 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . (ii) complexity of actors and lack of cooperation and coordination.and financial crises. it introduces the complex and fragmented institutional configuration of international forest policy. in a “business as usual” world. this paper seeks to do two things. the emergence of new dominant ideas have shaped—and reshaped—forest policy. Second. In sum.4 Improvements in agriculture productivity and the sustainable management of forests need to play a key role in GFG. rather than restructuring from the bottom up. thus overcoming their fragmentation. and climate change. security. To handle this complexity. natural resources. reformers should embrace complexity.and proliferation of arenas. we suggest building upon the existing regime complex and designing incremental changes to the existing mix of regime elements. such as poverty reduction and ing competition for the use of livelihoods. biodiversity. a paradigm shift is needed in the way land is used and commodities are produced. GFG has shifted over time to better address emerging priorities. Demand for agricultural commodities and timber will continue to rise as the world population grows and becomes wealthier. In this context. economic linkages to the full range of sustainable devel. it is important to realize that forest issues are complex and have multiple perspectives and linkages to the full range of sustainable development issues. and (iii) complexity of instruments and lack of implementation. As a result. such as poverty reduction and livelihoods. it attempts to identify lessons learned and to develop a range of recommendations if the world were to construct a truly “green economy” over the next 20 to 40 years. security. Looking at GFG. and climate change.

international trade.” among others. and human security. A critical determinant of success is to manage. and a general inability to look at forest issues as a whole. actors within the GFG system do not appreciate complexity and non-linearity. Success depends on the development of such new approaches to governance. COMPLEXITY OF ACTORS Global debates on sustainable development—including debates on forests—have been largely characterized as a collective debate between the rich and poor countries. it has resulted in high tensions. and large multinational businesses to small landholders dependent on forest products. civil society. natural resources and ecosystem health. They represent a wide range of entities—from global institutions to local civic groups. by its very nature. actors connect which each other in Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 71 . As demonstrated in scholarly work on revolving complexity theory. rather than eliminate. As we will argue below. Last but not least.” and “a human rights issue.Over the last 40 years. and goals. the myriad of international organizations in a current struggle to position themselves makes the system even more complex. It is connected with human well-being. complexity. these shifts have transformed forest policy from a “commodity issue” into a “biodiversity issue. or—in the forest context—countries with tropical forests with high rates of deforestation and countries with boreal and temperate forests with low deforestation rates. along the North/South divide. This complexity challenges the current system of GFG and does not allow for continued “siloed” governance responses or single-lens viewpoints of forest issues. Until now.” “a sustainable development issue. specific interests.6 This dichotomous view has largely centered on binary distinctions between the North and the South. includes a vast array of actors that vary widely in their type. difficult-to-bridge divisions. and apply a coherent approach to address the broad range of issues therein.and non-forest-dwellers. economic growth and development. national governments to indigenous peoples. this will require a new governance approach that matches the complexity of our management system to the complexity of the problem.”7 However. As such. GFG. This also accounts for the lack of real involvement from the private sector. human health. A lack of coherency in state approaches in the international arena adds to the failure of the current GFG. and NGOs in the negotiation and decision-making processes.5 It is therefore clear that the system of GFG impacts—and is impacted by—much more than just the forest sector or those living inside the forests. Complexity is regarded as a source of failure and as something that should be reduced or “fixed. both for forest. GFG has been highly state-oriented.

making effective governance more difficult at all levels. or the global policy level. There is nearly full consensus among scholars as well as practitioners of GFG on the need to incorporate a broader array of actors—beyond state actors—and their wider range of interests for more effective global governance. the following themes are identified as having special relevance to explaining the ineffectiveness of the current system of GFG: • Scale of governance/subsidiarity. and diverse approaches to the implementation and enforcement of sustainable forest management. have also become significant actors in designing and implementing the system of GFG. especially funds. civil society organizations. Scholars and policy practitioners have become increasingly concerned about the “messiness” of the GFG system. instruments. uses. other actors. Furthermore. it is important to realize that UN headquarters discussions generally tend to operate in a particular logic of global inter-state politics. as issues have multiplied and the interconnections among them have grown more complex. however. and confusion that incites demands for centralization in decision-making. private sector. but they are no longer the only actor group that influences global challenges. and consumers. and the lack of means of implementation have complicated the issue. Negotiators mainly focus on Oversees Development Assistance (ODA) 72 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . Over the course of a few decades. and views of forests has led to myriad governance mechanisms. hierarchical legislation using regulations and directives.8 Discussions couched in the language of “multi-stakeholder involvement. COMPLEXITY OF POLICY INSTRUMENTATION The multiplicity of issues. we argue that GFG has been too focused at the apex. including international organizations. incoherence. a lack of means of implementation. made real implementation almost impossible. the GFG system has created messiness.” “public-private partnerships. especially treaties or conventions concerning GFG. Furthermore. Among the issues of concern. even when issues of actual implementation are neither best understood nor best implemented at that level.9 While states once played the dominant role in global governance. users. Based on previous analysis. Political decisions are being negotiated in new modes of governance that depart from conventional.10 • Treaty congestion is a prominent problem afflicting GFG. The proliferation of international instruments.myriad ways around multiple components of the evolving GFG agenda. States are no less important today than they were in the past.” or “broad participation” all emanate from the realization that meaningful global action requires more than the participation of states.

In this. A general sense of negotiation fatigue is now apparent among seasoned sustainable development negotiators. as well as innovative approaches. are particularly pertinent in the realm of GFG. legally binding forest regime has not been promising. How. we offer two propositions and five building blocks collectively comprising a transformed system of GFG: • First. Reasons behind this include missing unified concepts or methodology. Only recently has the search for new and additional resources. and geographical contexts. as introduced above. but rather to manage the existing governance system better. do we move towards creating better decisions and more effective institutions for the global governance of forests? Putting in place an effective GFG governance system requires taking a long-term view of where we are going and where we need to be.12 TRANSFORMING GFG: A CALL FOR NEW DIPLOMACY As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close. It also means starting now with what is immediately possible while building transition pathways to what is ultimately necessary.11 • Institutional and policy fragmentation has resulted from policy being dispersed not only among ever-more-specialized treaty bodies. normative. with any given challenge. the complexity of the solution has to match the complexity of the problem. especially developing countries. These challenges. lack of political support. To do this. • Negotiation fatigue is increasing and states. struggle to meet institutional demands as the number of institutions and international agreements increases. but also geographically as the institutions managing these policies get fragmented by having to operate in different political.while other available funds are never looked at. but rather a reason for vision and innovation. we assert that imperfections or uncertainties are no excuse for inaction or short-sightedness. then. and lack of leadership. such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The current GFG system has the tendency to simplify Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 73 . the world faces mounting challenges characterized by the intensifying interconnectedness of global and regional issues. The record of attempted replacement strategies at the international level in order to create an integrated. lack of means of implementation. The most promising alternative to designing a global forest governance system that addresses the multiple societal objectives is not to replace the existing regime complex. started. a variable sense of urgency.

operates differently at different policy scales. Diplomacy provides us with the context and tools for global governance. First. building on the analysis of GFG. Second. more importantly. • The second proposition flows directly from the above and posits the need for a “new diplomacy” that recognizes not only the inherent complexity of the issue but also the changed realities of GFG. The recognition that not everything can be resolved from within the UN system implies two very important aspects in how a new model for global forest governance might operate. but from systematically tackling these myriad elements of global governance together and. the system of GFG has been too focused on the global level. Instead. 74 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . involves a multitude of stakeholders. the principle of subsidiarity). In the context of these propositions. some issues can—and.the problem in order to make the problem “more manageable. and food security) that are calling for an alternative approach to diplomacy—an approach that embraces the complexity of today’s problems. addressing these linkages makes the global governance of forests what social scientists call a “wicked problem”13: a problem which is inherently complex and to which there are no simple solutions because of complex interconnections. etc. some issues can only be resolved from there. and its many complex inter-linkages to a whole host of other issues (climate change. Appropriate Scale and Subsidiarity As we claimed above. However. and seeks an array of appropriate toolkits rather than single solutions. climate change.). The nature of the forest issue. it implies that a first step in the new diplomacy on global forest governance should be to determine what the appropriate level of discourse and action is for which discussion (i. it implies that while not all issues can be resolved from within the UN. raises challenges for traditional practices of state diplomacy with its focus on single solutions to complex problems. 1. the following building blocks must be designed if the world is to construct a truly “green economy” over the next 20 to 40 years. The points we raise here are especially pertinent in the context of forests. it is our contention that forests are not atypical at all..e. global finance. Indeed. trade. is not state-centric.” Our assertion is that effective GFG will come not from addressing any one (or a few) of these elements. biodiversity. they are an exemplar of a new set of complex global problems (including. for example. the linkages between them. This alternative approach towards a green economy—which we label “a new diplomacy for global forest governance”—consists of the following five building blocks. but they are not unique to the forest issue. maybe.

An alternative model would focus on a governance system that can create enough coherence. such a “portfolio approach” could consist of using a com- Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 75 . 3. We assert that the complexity issues and the myriad linkages to other challenging issues—such as climate change—militate against a single treaty solution and instead call for a more nuanced set of cross-linkages with other issues and the conventions and treaties that govern them. We claim that the governance challenge for the future is not one of negotiating a new grand instrument. Developing Institutional Space Following other scholarly work. but of coordinating multiple existing and new initiatives. here the notion is to provide different actors with the ability to be involved at the levels where they have the most competence and capacity to influence GFG. We claim that any efforts to “manage” all the myriad issues related to forests (agriculture. and coordination between the various arenas that they all act towards a common goal. Our proposition is not to categorically exclude some actors from global diplomacy. Deeper Stakeholder Participation For a GFG system to become more effective. climate change. Policy Instrumentation: Development of a Portfolio Approach From nearly 20 years of accumulated experience in trying to negotiate a “treaty. interaction. The fixation with searching for hard law solutions needs to be nuanced with recognition that an array of soft law instruments might be more effective than a single.2. At the same time. While multiple arenas provide the ability to deal with different levels of the complexity at different forums. we should depart from the widely shared notion that “all relevant stakeholders” should be involved in all policy decisions. we believe that the evolution continues and is likely to continue into the future. 4. Based on our earlier research. they also require a system of inter-arena coordination. security etc. we assert that we need new and innovative ways of thinking about what “participation” in GFG really means for different actors.15 The proliferation of arenas where forest governance is being discussed could lead to significant management problems.” we now know that an overarching agreement that addresses all the related issues is unlikely. A critical determinant for success for a more effective GFG system is to invest in a new diplomacy that allows multiple opportunities for multiple actors.14 Based on our analysis.) within a single institutional framework will lead to an ineffective governance system. comprehensive hard law instrument. we assert that the system of GFG has evolved into something far more complex than it was even recently.

R. 2009. Christopoulou. In Policy Sciences 4: 155–173. Oppenheimer. Policy Brief 7. 1971. Global Environmental Governance: A reform agenda.. Moomaw. 2008. London: Earthscan. O. Political Leadership and Collective Goods. Global Governance. H. A.17 Leaders in the global forest governance arena are neither representatives of hegemony who can impose their will on others. and P. J. Moomaw. Arts. Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development.. Effective leadership requires a truly global and inclusive mindset to turn the notion of traditional diplomacy on its head. 1973. H . Self-Organization and Coevolution in Public Investments. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. 76 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . building upon the recognition that the complexity of our evolving and polycentric governance systems is here to stay. 2010. 2010. Wageningen University Dissertation. 2008. Designing a Forest Financing Mechanism (FFM): A Call for Bold. London: Routledge. nor ethically motivated actors who seek to fashion workable institutional arrangements as contributions to the common good. 1 Najam. D. 2004. 2008. Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. International Governance: Protecting the Environment in a Stateless World. 6 Najam. Papa. Managing Complex Systems: Dynamics. 5. 2006. 2010.16 To be effective. and P. 4 5 Terrestrial Carbon Group. W. NGOs and the Politics of Scale. capacity development. and M. N. S. 2 Humphreys. Taiyab.. Global Environmental Politics. 9 10 Najam et al.. Collaborative & Innovative Thinking. 7 Teisman.. the leadership required has to be bold and innovative enough because the long-term challenges of sustainable development are big enough. Leadership Our final building block centers around the notion of leadership and its impact on the system of GFG. Verkooijen. Medford. The Emergent “System” of Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. and W. knowledge resources. A. Gerrits. 1994. Discussion Draft. In this. Logjam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance. Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. Ithaca. Verkooijen. 4(4): 23–25. Rittel. H. NJ: Princeton University Press. 11 Hoogeveen. 2008. and O. and awareness-raising for effective global action on forests. Roadmap for Terrestrial Carbon Science. G.bination of initiatives to raise a variety of resources including monetary resources. Assen: Van Gorcum. Young. such a portfolio approach requires adaptive governance in order to adjust to new conditions flexibly. 2006. NY: Cornell University Press. 12 13 14 15 16 Hoogeveen and Verkooijen. 2006. Hoogeveen et al. 2004. M. 17 Frohlich. van Buuren. and L. J. Winnipeg. Princeton. public support. MA: Tufts University. Weber. 2010. 8 Young. B. Much scholarly work has underscored the importance of effective leadership in global public goods arrangements. and N. L. A. Transforming Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Lessons Learned from Global Forest Governance. 3 Hoogeveen. Najam. Najam et al. Maini. A.

While far from enlightened or powerful enough to single-handedly create a green economy. It begins by describing the components of a green economy and the obstacles toward bringing one about. nonetheless.9.1 3. This paper briefly outlines the promise of civil society. and uses goods and services in ways that enhance injustice and undermine the organic infrastructure that supports life on earth. Sustainable ethic: Foster cultures that recognize ecological scarcity and inspire consumers and producers to desire only what is most necessary and ecologically sustainable. 2. Full-cost pricing: Incorporate ecological degradation into the cost of goods and services (with compensation for the poor). Civil society plays a key role in prodding societies toward a just and green future. 4. Waste = Food: Design production to reuse all pre. Transitioning to a Green Economy: Citizens and Civil Society by Paul Wapner The need to build a green economy is obvious. Progressive green taxes: Tax resource and sink use instead of income. WHAT IS A GREEN ECONOMY? A green economy ensures fair use of ecological resources and sinks at re-generational and bio-assimilation rates. represents a necessary component of transition. sells. civil society.and post-consumer waste as industrial or biological inputs. Building such an economy entails the following components: 1. 5. Much of the world produces. It then explains analytically the potentialities of civil society and offers a set of specific initiatives for enhancing civil efforts to build a green economy. buys. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 77 . Wealth = Environmental Health: Create measures of value that preserve the intrinsic worth of nature.

ful and governments impose economic restrictions on unfair practices. This raises troubling questions about transitioning to a green economy. as mentioned. Justice influences forces must be marshaled on behalf of a economic calculation only green economy. and thus they are often tone deaf to social justice and ecological We face a situation in which extra-market protection. can a green transformation occur when most of us are implicated in ecological degradation? Further complications include the specific challenge of incorporating social and environmental justice concerns into the world economy. thus we have financier rather than philosopher or otherwise enlightened kings. Can the rich always know what is best for themselves. Consequently. Ecological constraints only breach market dynamics in the form of prices that rarely represent actual ecological costs. Economic power too easily translates into political and cultural power. Civil society represents a realm that is largely outside immediate commercial and even governmental pressures. even though few forms of power are more commanding and expansive in scope than market ones. much less the poor or our common planet? If their wealth results largely from industries and practices that undermine ecological stability.OBSTACLES The rich rule the world. Economies operate largely according to supply and demand. insofar as most people’s short-term economic fate is associated with the continued well-being of the rich. economic power is often hegemonic. with the ability to dictate governmental and cultural forms of governance. It is populated by various associations that work 78 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . We need to cultivate a vibrant extra-market realm of life that gives relevant and effective expression to non-commercial concerns—principally focused on social justice and environmental sanity. we face a situation in which extra-market forces must be marshaled on behalf of a green economy. will the rich alter economic structures? Furthermore. This is a tall order because. CIVIL SOCIETY Building a green economy thus rests on embedding the global financial system within a broader socio-ecological frame of reference and practice. even though few forms of when extra-market forces power are more commanding and expanare extraordinarily powersive in scope than market ones.

However. What follows. This can include everything from military drafts to civilian service organizations. and built infrastructure to make public lands accessible. analytically it is distinct enough that forces and initiatives can arise within civil society that are at odds with contemporary governmental or commercial norms and practices. FROM PROMISE TO PRACTICE To boost the hope of civil society. Citizens would work as public servants Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 79 .within and across societies in the service of particular public ideals or enterprises. Indeed. The specifically public dimension suggests that civil society actors are motivated fundamentally not by economic profit. civil society becomes a necessary agent of transition to a green economy. health and public safety—but also provides an education and sense of national investment by participants. To the degree that their efforts—which include everything from pressuring governments to shifting codes of good conduct—influence economic calculation and the dynamics of commercial life. constructed more than 800 state parks. and this partial independence provides civil society actors with a unique purchase point on world affairs in general and global environmental issues in particular. we need new and stronger institutions to empower civil society actors. civil society often reflects the same power dynamics that define these other two spheres. Civilian Corps Service Responsibility (CCSR): Many countries require or encourage citizens to serve the nation in one form or another.2 To be sure. while the transnational character of civil society suggests a sovereignty-free orientation. These institutions must translate the aspirations of social and environmental justice emergent in civil society into forms of governance that can both penetrate and direct economic life. civil society actors are not wholly autonomous from the world economy or the nation-state system.3 A similar program in which youth serve for a year as stewards of the land could arise within countries around the world. are proposals for how to build and strengthen civil society institutions that can facilitate a green economic transformation. Participants planted three billion trees. The United States initiated the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 as a work relief program wherein unemployed youth were enlisted to implement a natural resource conservation program. The program also built awareness and appreciation of America’s natural beauty and resources among the population. then. Such service not only assists in public welfare—by meeting critical community needs in education.

water. Minerals. International Food and Product Label Standardization Program: Full cost or sustainability-sensitive pricing is impossible without accurate information about ecological costs. civil pressure on the global economic market. Food labels could 80 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . Sweden began providing carbon emission ratings for food in addition to nutritional information. Indeed. there is reason to expand them beyond national boundaries. In 2009. This effort sought to encourage Swedes to consider the health of the planet along with their individual health decisions.at water treatment plants. or even global service in which people serve in the world’s ecological hotspots would provide a steady stream of sustainability workers. and there are many potentially unjust consequences involved with consumers shifting their buying habits based on such labeling. However. regional. This would give youths a sense of contemporary ecological challenges and enlist them in helping countries meet their provisioning needs in a sustainable fashion. plants. and paper do not materialize from the sheer ingenuity of humans. dry wall. and microorganisms are the building blocks of our consumptive material world. and urban transportation centers. environmental remediation areas. animals.4 Calculating the carbon emissions from food production is still fraught with challenges. farms. To move toward an accurate pricing system. but rather from the living earth. pottery. the international community can adopt product-labeling standards. While civilian corps systems have historically been national in scope. expand global consciousness about environmental interconnections. the effort is useful for reducing Sweden’s carbon emissions sourced from food production. and help build a global community—all of which are crucial to increasing civil society pressure on the world economy. At a minimum. by extension. The transnationalization of such a system would encourage consumers and producers to make more mindful choices in the marketplace. Being reminded of this in a systematic way could contribute to civic environmental responsibility and. food. since more than half the world’s population lives in cities. as well as create a steady cadre of workers committed to natural resource protection. A transnational. labels should indicate the source of ingredients to specify that the ultimate foundation of products is the earth itself. Computers. people are increasingly unaware of the sources of their water and food products and the disposal sites for their waste. waste disposal sites. A CCSR would provide an experiential sustainability education to a nation’s citizens.

Such citizen consciousness could heighten global civil society’s pressures for a green economy. These common laws shield corporations from public welfare accountability. These panels would evaluate corporate behavior to ensure acceptable environmental and ethical business practices. global environmental ethic and thus efforts toward creating a global green economy. as citizens. but also the fairness of production practices (as in today’s fair-trade certified labels). serving in the same capacity as citizen jurors. Additionally. would act as grantors. In this way. Associations within civil society often enjoy parochial interests (even if they Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 81 . A country’s flag—its patriotic symbol—thus serves as a powerful instrument for cultivating global consciousness and building momentum for a green world economy. citizens could commemorate their nation’s uniqueness while acknowledging and celebrating their interdependence with others. most corporate charters legally circumscribe liability such that shareholders stand to lose only their investments and employees only their jobs if a corporation fails to protect its own or the public’s interests. This corrupts politics and licenses corporate irresponsibility. THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY Civil society is no panacea to the challenges of transitioning to a green economy. countries could demonstrate their solidarity with the ecological imperative that national concerns dovetail with global ones. Multinational panels of citizens. and are required to assume the same (if not fewer) responsibilities. in democracies where corporations enjoy the right to free speech (and where money is considered a form of speech). By sewing a small image of the globe in the corner of their existing flags.include information about not only the ecological components of products and sustainable disposal options. For example. Earth Flag6: The absence of global solidarity among sovereign states undermines the possibility of a strong. A CRC would require all corporations with gross receipts in excess of $100 million to obtain a renewable corporate charter to do business within and across national boundaries. States pursue their national interest often devoid of global concern. Corporate Responsibility Charter (CRC)5: Corporations in many countries are legally afforded the same (if not more) rights. corporate financial power influences elections and policy-making.

March 21. Thus. 92ff. and M. and the hope of transitioning to a green economy depends partly upon such pockets. even if it is not sufficient. another interpretation would suggest that they nevertheless represent genuine intrusions into the matrix of our socioeconomic lives. 2008. at most. 2009. Braungart. J. and A. the activation of civil society in the service of environmental protection is a necessary component of transitioning to a green economy. The measures suggested above may sound naïve given their small interventions into the monumental character of the world economy. In the same way that civil society reflects the power dynamics of the world economy and the nation-state system. W. Princeton. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Forests. even if it is not sufficient. like quaint gestures with no ability to genuinely shift environmental affairs. New York: Farrar. Coloring this context in green is crucial for building any semblance of a green economy. November 13. Shapiro.g.express themselves in public good terms). the world economy is partially reflective of what happens in these other two realms. Bridges Trade BioRes. G. See. 1 The phrase “waste=food” comes from: McDonough. 5 This idea draws on the work of Michael Lerner and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. proposed a variant of this idea in the 1990s. 4 International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. NJ: Princeton University Press. civil society provides part of the basic context within which the world economy operates. more often than not. Indeed. pp. Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U. September/October. and thus have the ability to stir ideas and practices. 1990.S. However. 9 (20): 10. Straus and Giroux. They may seem..com/USFS-CCC. 6 Professor Daniel Deudney. W. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. 33–38. Network of Spiritual Progressives. 2 Rosenau. Constitution. 2002. However. 3 Williams. distance in which people can imagine and disseminate alternative practices. e. and the realm itself lacks sufficient power to alter the deeply entrenched structures of the world economy. Turbulence in World Politics. Available online at: http:/ /tinyurl. Tikkun Magazine. 82 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . there are still pockThe activation of civil society in the service ets of collective life amidst of environmental protection is a necessary commercial hegemony that component of transitioning to a green occasionally enjoy critical economy. civil society is the tail being wagged by the economic dog. currently of the Political Science Department at Johns Hopkins University. p 36. Put differently. This would be a semi-accurate read. Sweden Tells All With CO2 Emissions Food Labels. 2010.

and luters. technologies and research. It is important. and organizational resources.distribution and sourcing have vast environmental consequences with wide societal vate decisions over products ramifications and broad geographic reach. discursive and normative frames.2 This expands on the conventional understanding of multi-actor. practices. however. Growing concern about an international “governance deficit” has fuelled this embrace of private resources and capacity. multi-level governance to emphasize three primary channels of governance. Climate change is one of the major concerns of this century. highly engaged in the fabric of global environmental governance Private decisions over products and prosystems in their roles as polcesses.10. channel. and market structures. technological.1 Here I use the term “global governance” in the broadest sense to mean “the rules. and constrain economic activity and its impacts in relation to international issues of public concern. Private Sector Governance for a Sustainable Economy: A Strategic Approach by David Levy A global transition to a sustainable economy requires the large-scale mobilization of our financial. lobbyists. and it has been estimated that annual global investment of more than $500 billion will be needed over the coming decades to keep warming within a two-degrees-Celcius limit. The vast scale of these investments and the need to integrate sustainable technologies. and processes. and distribution and sourcing have vast environmental consequences with wide societal ramifications and broad geographic reach. institutions. which Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 83 . and marketers. investors. but also private mechanisms such as codes of conduct. technologies and research. and norms that order. to recognize that large companies are already. de facto. and products across the supply chains of every economic sector highlight the importance of creating governance structures that will redirect corporate resources toward sustainability.” It therefore includes not only regulation and formal international agreements. Pri. innovators.

is intimately connected to our patterns of work. the challenges of a sustainability transition. 84 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . and shopping. and inertia of the current system. and companies are constrained by corporate governance. norms. competition.”4 Lock-in is more than an economic and technological phenomenon. for example. Against this background. shift norms. create a high global price for carbon. It is our current governance systems over energy and transportation that produce carbon lock-in.correspond to the pillars of stability in a particular arena or “organizational field”: economic/technological. Meaningful change requires careful study of the contested terrain of corporate environmental practice and governance. capital markets. reframe the issues. The automobile. institutional and social forces…that perpetuate fossil fuel-based infrastructures in spite of their known environmental externalities. and empower non-financial stakeholders. for example. Existing governance institutions are also embedded in the current system. mandate clean production systems. and the wider consumer culture. This represents a strategic approach to building governance for a green economy. so it is naïve to simply specify “ideal” governance institutions that would. the “interlocking technological. or to admonish companies to give priority to sustainability. A structural understanding of governance highlights the complexity. rules. realign economic incentives. Economic activity is deeply embedded in economic and social institutions. Governance does not necessarily guarantee an outcome that serves the public interest. and institutions that stabilize a field in a particular way. It is pointless to preach to consumers to abandon their cars and plane travel. actors. Institutions such as the mass media. political/regulatory. and professional certification bodies generate standards. Organizations with vested interests associated with existing technologies. unions. interdependencies. such as industry associations and unions. become powerful actors who perpetuate the status quo. routines and cultural practices that stabilize the dominant technologies.3 THE COMPLEXITY OF CARBON LOCK-IN Governance is thus a matrix of forces. and a long-term strategy to win new allies. and discursive/cultural. government agencies. what governance institutions and mechanisms could generate change? Here we must heed Machiavelli’s warning to avoid wishful thinking and start with the world as it is. leisure. and craft new rules and oversight mechanisms. and thus.

or new financial instruments such as carbon markets. by embracing information disclosure initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). but it can face huge political hurdles. Regulation not only generates corporate opposition but also frequently faces reluctance from politicians more concerned about competitiveness and employment than sustainability. a contested form of governance in which the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who promote initiatives such as CDP seek not only Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 85 . the community. economic incentives for sustainability can be structured through taxes. Third. First.5 Providing economic incentives harnesses the private sector’s profit motive. subsidies. Some have made a spirited argument for a Global Environmental Organization to overcome problems of collective action and coordinate national regulation. or fuel efficiency for vehicles. They can have unintended and perverse impacts. Congress. as in the case of ethanol subsidies. They strain governmental budgets and are frequently opposed by vested interests. regulation can direct companies to meet specific goals. Each of these approaches has possibilities and limitations.S. The move toward social and environmental disclosure represents a form of informational governance or “civil regulation” that some herald as a new era of transparency. such as renewables in the power sector. but others are wary of the centralization of unaccountable power. but these incentives are often driven by political rather than environmental considerations. including the workforce.FROM REGULATORY TO RADICAL: FOUR APPROACHES Four governance mechanisms can potentially shift corporate behavior toward sustainability. The fourth and most radical approach is to restructure the foundations of corporate governance so that productive organizations internalize the drive to serve multiple stakeholders and goals. Regulation is the most traditional means of influencing corporate behavior. for example.6 Critics have argued that disclosure is actually a privatized form of voluntary self-governance that protects against more onerous regulation and accomplishes little for sustainability or democratic ideals. and the environment. public pressures can lead companies to shift their norms and practices.7 Disclosure is. and stakeholder engagement. Second. indeed. as illustrated by the current post-Kyoto climate regime quagmire and inaction in the U. accountability. such as providing incentives through carbon credits for expanding the manufacture of air conditioning.

business strives to promote a more corporate version of disclosure geared toward management of reputation. and increased disclosure programs—leave intact the fundamental structures of corporate governance in which companies strive to maximize profits and are accountable to capital markets. A variety of experiments are under way with organizational forms that attempt to combine the economic efficiency and market orientation of the private sector with A variety of experiments are under way with the concern for social and organizational forms that attempt to comenvironmental goals of notbine the economic efficiency and market for-profit organizations. indeed. of ideas about governance structures to promote a “Great Transition” to a more sustainable society. economic incentives. cofounder of Corporation 20/20. lobbyists. The orientation of the private sector with the Corporation 20/20 initiative concern for social and environmental goals has brought together a range of not-for-profit organizations. and companies are frequently able to thwart. Sustainability advocates enthusiastically make the “win-win” case that improving environmental disclosure and practice actually raises financial performance. relying on the harmony of private interests and planetary sustainability. seems rather dubious and ignores the massive environmental externalities of our industrial production and mass consumption. energy costs. and accountants. the core strategy of GRI and CDP has been to enlist investors as key allies in creating a demand for disclosure. Any attempt to divert companies from this goal inevitably faces resistance.8 Simultaneously. weaken. has described a three-part typology of structures 86 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 .to change corporate practices but also to empower civil society actors as active partners in corporate decision-making. While there is certainly some low-lying fruit in the energy area. both through the formal legal structures of shareholders and boards of directors and functionally through the operations of investment analysts and bond ratings. Studies of the relationship between environmental and financial performance offer little evidence for the “win-win” case. These three mechanisms for promoting sustainability—regulation. and investor relations. or skirt regulation through the deployment of lawyers. Marjorie Kelly of the Tellus Institute. The fourth and most radical approach is to reengineer structures of governance so that organizations internalize not just environmental costs but the sustainability mission itself. liability. with vague appeals to the long run.

of “for-Benefit companies”: Stakeholder-Owned Companies, Mission-Controlled Companies, and Public-Private Hybrids. “The essential framework of such a company—its ownership, governance, capitalization, and compensation structures—is designed to support this dual mission.”9 The ambitious agenda of Corporation 20/20 hints at the hurdles it faces. Some of the organizations Kelly describes deliberately limit their dividends, profitability targets, and growth rates in order to address their goals. Building an economy based on such organizations would therefore require a revolution in capital markets. While some investment funds apply social screens, constraints on pursuit of returns are anathema to capital markets. The transition toward regarding stakeholders, such as labor and environmental groups, as active participants in decisions rather than actors to be consulted and managed is likewise a revolution that overthrows shareholder supremacy and replaces it with a more complex and multi-layered form of governance. A STRATEGIC SHIFT IS NECESSARY Yet even if most organizations were environmentally aware and followed best practice, there is no guarantee that the global economy would be sustainable at a planetary level. As John Ehrenfeld, sustainability scholar and current executive director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, has described, sustainability is a systems-level phenomenon based on the balance of human activities and the earth’s natural processes.10 The sum total of global production and consumption, from cars and planes to food and energy, puts an intolerable strain on the earth’s capacity to provide fresh water and absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This is becoming strikingly clear with the rapid industrialization of China, India, and Brazil. Moreover, the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and energy infrastructure requires such a massive scale of investment and regional planning that individual business organizations, however well intentioned, cannot meet the challenge. Clearly, we need sectoral, national, and global institutions that can play a role in planning, coordinating, and financing the transition. Several writers brought together under the Corporation 20/20 initiative recognize this wider context and the need for macro-level governance.11 Tellus Institute Senior Fellow Richard Rosen, for example, draws from experience with the U.S. Public Utility Commissions to suggest paths to democratizing decisions at the sectoral level pertaining to capital investments, technologies, and pricing in basic industrial and service sectors. Paul Epstein, associate director of the
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Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, calls for a new Bretton Woods to reshape institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to align the global financial architecture with sustainable development goals. This would entail strengthening and enhancing funding for existing institutions with a sustainability mission, such as UNEP and GEF, and restructuring other organizations. John Stutz of the Tellus Institute and Boston College sociology professor Juliet Schor, among others, have argued for a far-reaching cultural transformation that displaces consumption and growth from its central place in our economy and society. Yet here again we should to heed Machiavelli’s warning and consider a strategy for getting there from here. There are tensions between the more incremental yet practicable changes to governance structures and more radical plans that are unlikely to gain traction. There are tensions between the more inSome of the most intriguing cremental yet practicable changes to govinitiatives, such as the GRI ernance structures and more radical plans and the CDP, have tried to that are unlikely to gain traction. negotiate these tensions in a strategic, dynamic manner. These disclosure-based governance projects have been remarkably successful in galvanizing voluntary compliance among many of the largest companies. Most notably, the leaders of these initiatives forged wide coalitions, including NGOs, businesses, accountants, consultants, and investors, and attempted to appeal to the diverse interests and goals of these actors. The core strategy for CDP, which is largely modeled on GRI, is to recruit institutional investors to pressure companies in which they hold investments to report using the disclosure protocol. For investors, the claim is that the information is valuable in signaling the degree of carbon risk. To appeal to the NGO community and multilateral organizations such as UNEP, carbon disclosure is framed as advancing an agenda of corporate accountability and more inclusive and transparent governance. The CDP, along with GRI, would provide a standardized format to reduce compliance costs, but also enable comparison across firms. This would reward strong performers with reputational benefits while enabling NGOs to exert pressure on non-disclosers and poor performers. Advocates of corporate social reporting frame it discursively in “win-win” terms as satisfying environmental, social, and economic goals in a way that would appeal to a diverse array of actors. Carbon disclosure, for example, is presented

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as an element of social and environmental responsibility and reporting, a broader project that already has widespread acceptance among business, government, and civil society actors. Simultaneously, CDP founders have been skillful in framing carbon disclosure slightly differently for different audiences. For the business and financial community, carbon disclosure is portrayed as an extension of financial reporting, drawing from its legitimacy as a routine practice with companies, investors, and regulatory authorities. For businesses wary of mandatory carbon regulation, voluntary disclosure offers positive publicity and flexibility in implementation with little legal exposure. Carbon disclosure is also framed as serving the material interests of industry and finance through carbon trading, risk management, streamlined reporting, and energy savings. For accounting, IT, and consulting firms, the measurement and management of carbon flows presents a vast new market opportunity. CDP has gained widespread acceptance, but it has not eliminated the fundamental tensions in this contested field. These tensions, or “competing logics,” arise from the diversity of forms and purposes of carbon accounting and disclosure, and the related interests of the actors involved. The logic of ”civil regulation” views carbon disclosure as a mechanism to empower civil society groups to play a more assertive role in corporate governance, increasing the transparency and accountability of corporations to external stakeholders. The implicit goal is a more fundamental shift in the balance of power toward civil society. The logic of “corporate environmental performance,” by contrast, relies on the instrumental value of carbon disclosure to business through the management of energy costs, compliance, and reputation. The strategic compromises and fragile coalitions necessary to initiate a widespread shift in business practice inherently generate pressures that circumscribe more systematic transformation. In this case, the strategy of positioning carbon disclosure as integral to carbon markets and management has resulted in the dominance of market-oriented managerialism. Carbon information seems to hold the most potential value for corporate managers and accountants, consultants, and software companies, who are emerging as the dominant partners in the carbon disclosure movement. Neither investors nor NGOs have much use for aggregate data, which, it turns out, is not particularly valuable for activist campaigns or valuing assets.

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Perhaps most importantly. J. D. 1(1): 45–55. A. and P. A. The Business of Global Environmental Governance. 4 Unruh. Sustainability by Design. 2009.While carbon disclosure has not transformed corporate governance. F. L. The Coming Democracy: New Rules for Running a New World. 49(1): 88–115. In A. The Contested Politics of Corporate Governance: The Case of the Global Reporting Initiative. and R. 2001. D. J.).). 28(7): 971–991. S. 2003. Tellus Institute. White. C. Business and Society. Available at http:/ /tinyurl. Corporate social responsibility and theories of global governance: Strategic contestation in global issue arenas. 2010. Cambridge. It suggests how a strategic approach to building structures of governance might chart a trajectory toward taming the powerful locomotive of corporate productive and creative energies and redirect them toward building a green economy. and M.: Island Press. 2009. G.36. 90 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . A. de Jong. standards currently crossing over into the regulatory apparatus of agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. D. Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. New Haven: Yale University Press. Scully. 2007. Transparency Under Scrutiny: Information disclosure in global environmental governance. (Ed). Understanding carbon lock-in. The institutional entrepreneur as modern prince: The strategic face of power in contested fields. 2008. and D. H. Crane. 10 11 Ehrenfeld. Washington D. 2008. Siegel (Eds. The emerging debate on the need for a World Environment Organization.com/restoringtheprimacy. MA: MIT Press. Newell (eds. carbon disclosure has demonstrated the feasibility of carbon management and potential corporate benefits. 6 Florini. 1 Levy. 3 Levy. shifting the field of play and opening political space for further action. Organization Studies. D. p. McWilliams. Brown and M. D. It has generated considerable momentum toward the formalization of carbon accounting standards. L. Global Environmental Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 7 Gupta. Energy Policy. Matten.. it has scored important strategic gains. Global Environmental Politics. 2009. It has generated legitimacy for the principle of disclosure and accountability to external stakeholders. 8(2): 1–7. Paper Series on Restoring the Primacy of the Real Economy. 2 Levy. 28(12): 817-830. 8 Levy. 2005. A. and increased the visibility and voice of environmental advocates inside and outside corporations. A. J.C. Kaplan. Moon. 2000. 5 Bierman. 9 White. Boston: Corporation 20/20. L.

Her main focus is international environmental politics. Halle also lectures. He is founder and former Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. won the 2001 Chadwick F. Environmentalists. His career began in the field of international negotiations. Alger Prize for the best book published in 2000 in the area of international organization and the 2001 Lynton Caldwell Award for the best book published on environmental policy. and U. and the use of economic sanctions for environmental goals. where he focused on building UK links with the work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. She currently serves as the book review editor for the journal Global Environmental Politics. writes. He has worked extensively with the United Nations Environment Programme.S. both as its European Representative and as its Global Director for Trade and Investment. WWF International. and European Representative at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She also works on international law and international relations theory. and publishes frequently on issues related to sustainable development and to multilateral trade policy. Professor DeSombre’s first book. serving in the diplomatic secretariat of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He also managed the production of “Poverty and Plenty”—a human development report for the UK—and was the editor of the UNED magazine Connections. the regulation of international fisheries. and has worked for the International Institute for Sustainable Development. DeSombre is the Frost Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of political science at Wellesley College. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 91 . Trade and Investment.Task Force Members Tom Bigg is Head of Partnerships at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and has worked for more than seven years with the United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee (UNED-UK). Recent projects have involved the lessons from the Montreal Protocol. Domestic Sources of International Environmental Policy: Industry. and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature over the years. Mark Halle is Director. Power. He also worked to produce a number of publications including a book co-written with Derek Osborn titled Earth Summit II: Outcomes and Analysis in 1998. Elizabeth R.

who serves as Chair of the United Nations Advisory Board on Sanitation and Water. and Development Programme and Team Leader for the EU-China Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security project. She was Head of the Energy. he became the founding Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) in Dhaka. Environment. He currently is leading a Dutch Task Force on agriculture for post-war reconstruction in Uruzgan. His interests are in the inter-linkages between climate change and sustainable development from the perspective of developing countries. He teaches business strategy. Environment. In 1984. When he left BCAS in 2000. He has published numerous articles in scientific and popular journals. Saleemul Huq is Senior Fellow of the Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London. She also worked at the Strategic Planning Unit of the United Nations Secretary-General’s office. Levy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the senior advisor on water and food security issues to the Royal Crown Prince of the Netherlands. and was one of the coordinating lead authors of “Inter-relationships between Adaptation and Mitigation” in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007). including the Sustainability Challenge Foundation in the Netherlands and Forest Trends. international business. Bangladesh. David L. and Resource Governance at Chatham House. and business and its environment. and Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Policy and Strategy Advisor of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Dr. Bernice Lee is Research Director for Energy. was a lead author of the chapter on adaptation and sustainable development in the Third Assessment Report (2001) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Royal Institute of International Affairs. Afghanistan. 92 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . He also serves on several boards in the field of sustainable development. He is also Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness.Hans Hoogeveen is Director General at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. and is active in the PhD program in public policy. Hoogeveen is also a lead author of the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on the International Forest Regime. it was the leading scientific research and policy institute in the country in the field of environment and development. Nature and Food Quality and Visiting Professor of Practice in Natural Resource Policy at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. Warren Weaver Fellow (International Security) at the Rockefeller Foundation. international political economy.

the President of Pakistan conferred on him the medal Sitara-i-Imtiaz (SI) for his services to education and environment. Meléndez-Ortiz has been the publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications.whose mission is “to foster a transition to a clean. In 2009. He formerly represented Colombia as a negotiator in various multilateral trade and environmental governance processes. and prosperous economy. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University. a new blog devoted to discussion of business and climate change. He serves on several international policy initiatives. He was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz is the co-founder and Chief Executive of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development since 1996. Director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). he was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to serve on the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP). Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy. He previously taught at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. the Climate Change Convention.. He conducts research and teaches classes on global and regional politics and policy-making on environment and sustainable develop- Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 93 . Global Environmental Governance (2006). Adil Najam is the Frederick S. Professor Levy is also the founder and editor of Climate Inc. sustainable. and at the University of Massachusetts. including the GATT’s Uruguay Round. universities. and the Montreal Protocol. and Trade and Sustainable Development (2007). and Professor of International Relations and of Geography & Environment at Boston University. work for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. he served as Principal Advisor to the Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia. Earlier. he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). Henrik Selin is Associate Professor of International Relations and Faculty Fellow at the Frederick S.” The center engages in collaborations among businesses. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2008. including the board of Intellectual Property Watch (Geneva). Since 1997. and policymakers to advance research and education. He is also as member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade and of the Forum’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change. and the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership. His recent books include: Portrait of a Giving Community: Diaspora Philanthropy by Pakistani-Americans (2006). Previously.

Dr. Stacy D. Verkooijen is also a lead author of the Global Forest Expert Group (GFEP) on the International Forest Regime. VanDeveer is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the master’s program in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. Before his appointment at the World Bank. He is the co-editor of two books. Verkooijen acted as key negotiator for the Department of International Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture. His book Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of Multilevel Management was recently published by MIT Press. Senior Research Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. with Stacy VanDeveer) and Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives (Ashgate. as established within the framework of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). He has authored and co-authored numerous articles. Previously. and the politics of consumption and environmental and human rights degradation in global commodities markets. He is also the author and co-author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. the role of expertise in policy-making. and also Senior Partnership Specialist at the World Bank in Washington. working papers. with Miranda Schreurs and Stacy VanDeveer). D. Patrick Verkooijen is the Visiting Professor in Global Forest Diplomacy at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR). Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands. He spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. book chapters.ment. and was stationed in Khartoum. he was a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. 94 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . His research interests include international environmental policy-making and its domestic impacts. Kennedy School of Government after getting his PhD from the University of Maryland.C. Dr. Policy Making and Multilevel Governance (MIT Press. and reports and co-edited two books. Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions. He also served as senior advisor to the President of the United Nations Forum on Forests and acted briefly as advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Sudan.

Politics and the Life Sciences. He researches and teaches global environmental politics. environmental thought. Chicago Journal of International Law. and co-editor (with Edwin Ruiz) of Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International Relations. which won the Margaret and Harold Sprout Award. He is author of Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics. and other venues. Dissent. and international relations theory. Alternatives. social movements. Global Governance. Tikkun. Environmental Politics. His articles have appeared in World Politics. International Studies Quarterly. Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 95 .Paul Wapner is Associate Professor and Director of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University. Global Environmental Politics.

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4). May 2010 The Role of Cities in Sustainable Development David Satterthewaite (No. listed below. The papers in this series. May 2010 Are Women the Key to Sustainable Development? Candice Stevens (No. Hard copies are available by email request to pardee@bu. 2). 5). are available in PDF format at www. 6). October 2010 Global Environment Governance: The Challenge of Accountability Adil Najam and Mark Halle (No. November 2009 Pushing “Reset” on Sustainable Development Alan AtKisson (No.edu.edu/pardee/publications. Green Revolution 2. 3).0: A Sustainable Energy Path Nalin Kulatilaka (No.SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INSIGHTS Sustainable Development Insights is a series of short policy essays supporting the Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (SDKP) and edited by Boston University’s Frederick S. 1). The series seeks to promote a broad interdisciplinary dialogue on how to accelerate sustainable development at all levels. October 2009 Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy 97 .bu. April 2010 Rio+20: Another World Summit? Miquel Muñoz and Adil Najam (No. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.

Campbell (No. 9). March 2010 Issues in Brief series China and the Future of Latin American Industrialization Kevin Gallagher (No. O’Connor (No. Tyler and Sucharita Gopal (No. November 2010 Coffee. October 2010 Complex Natural Disasters and the Role of the University Enrique Silva (No. July 2010 Sub-Saharan Africa at a Crossroads: A Quantitative Analysis of Regional Development Zachary C.RECENT PARDEE CENTER PUBLICATIONS The Pardee Papers series Energy Transitions Peter A. October 2010 Call for a Corporate Social Conscience Index Stephanie Watts (No. 10). 11). 12). 16). 18).edu. Culture and Intellectual Property: Lessons for Africa from the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Initiative Heran Sereke-Brhan (No. May 2010 Narcotics Trafficking in West Africa: A Governance Challenge Peter L. September 2010 Mapping the Complexity of Higher Education in the Developing World Muhammad Hamid Zaman. Hard copies are available by email request to pardee@bu.edu/pardee/publications. May 2010 Pardee Conference Center Reports Africa 2060: Good News from Africa April 2010 All publications are available for download as PDF files at www. McGuire (No. and David K. 98 A Pardee Center Task Force Report | March 2011 . 15). 17). Adil Najam.bu.

edu/pardee Email: pardee@bu. and European Representative at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Senior Partnership Specialist at the World Bank. anticipate. Mark Halle. Stacy D. and the United States. The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy is comprised of leading experts in the fields of economics and trade. The Pardee Center Task Force Reports present the findings of these deliberations as a contribution of expert knowledge to discussions about important issues for which decisions made today will influence longer-range human development. A meeting of all Task Force members was held at Pardee House. sustainable development. and Paul Wapner.The Frederick S. Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. publications. Associate Professor in the International Relations Department at Boston University and a Pardee Center Faculty Fellow. Saleemul Huq. Colombia. international politics. Associate Professor and Director of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University. political science. VanDeveer. Research Director for Energy. Hans Hoogeveen. business. the Pardee Center convenes groups of experts on specific policy questions to identify viable policy options for the longer-range future. and enhance the longterm potential for human progress. global governance. Director of the Pardee Center and Professor of International Relations and of Geography & Environment at Boston University. Patrick Verkooijen. and Resource Governance at Chatham House. David L. and the environment. Environment. including Bangladesh. in all its various dimensions. Pakistan. the UK. co-founder and Chief Executive of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Boston University. Occasionally. Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz. the Netherlands. and Adil Najam. Director of Trade and Investment.bu. Task Force members are from countries around the world. Nature and Food Quality. Other members of the Task Force include Tom Bigg. Pardee House 67 Bay State Road Boston. Royal Institute of International Affairs. the Pardee Center seeks to identify. policy-relevant. Bernice Lee. Senior Fellow of the Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Levy. DeSombre. Elizabeth R. Director General at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. and future-oriented research that can contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University convenes and conducts interdisciplinary. Head of Partnerships at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Canada.edu Tel: 617-358-4000 Fax: 617-358-4001 ISBN 978-0-9825683-8-5 . Through its program of research. in September 2010. and events. Professor and Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness. Massachusetts 02215 www. Frost Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. The Task Force was co-convened by Henrik Selin.