The term ‘Green Economy’ has been somewhat vague and open to interpretations since its conceptualization, however, the discourse on this has developed in the last decade thus narrowing down the ideology and scope of this term.
The initial discussion was focused on bringing about a ‘Green Economy’ by reallocating public and private investments, spurred through appropriate policy reforms and enabling conditions. It was meant to value and invest in natural capital and thus work towards an economy where ecosystem services are better conserved, leading to improved safety nets and household incomes for poor rural communities.
Improvements in freshwater access and sanitation, and innovations for non-grid energy (solar electricity, biomass stoves, etc.) was also to be added to the suite of green economy strategies to help alleviate poverty.
While the traditional economic policy sustained on a ‘growth and development model’ which mostly disregarded the environment, the new model promised to be socially inclusive and ecologically sound. For economics and nature to be brought together, nature had be quantified and this in turn brought in the challenge of measuring the ‘nature capital’ and the criticism that this leads to ‘mercantallising nature.
While the UNEP used the Rio+ 20 conference to promote the ‘Green Economy’ it was not received well by all the countries and often the reactions ranged between sceptical to completely hostile especially from the countries in the global south. The Green Economy has become a negatively charged concept for many critical actors for instance the closing declaration of the People’s Summit convened by civil society groups clearly rejects this concept.
Another major component of ‘Green Economy’ is the innovative use of technology and the faith in the same to develop ecologically sound means (such as renewable energy sources) and to fix the natural resources where it is fast depleting. In fact it is considered that one of the positives of ‘Green Economy’ is that it encourages a resource-efficient future.
The webinar on Women and Green Economy is intended to initiate a thought provoking discussion on the implication of adopting a ‘Green Economy’ on women and thereby help us determine whether it is a positive development for women and if not what is the best way forward.