how will they underpin the transition and why they are important?
Presentations, followed by roundtable discussions
– Oliver Greenfield (Green Economy Coalition)
– Anabella Rosemberg (ITUC)
– Rick Clugstone (Earth Charter)
Chair: Jeff Huffines (CIVICUS UN Representative)
Jeff Huffines: “How do we change the incentives of our current economy so sustainable development and ethical principles become the norm, how do we go about operationalising these ethical principles.”
Oliver Greenfield: “Is there a new economics that can emerge at Rio that can bridge the polarised worlds of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, that can bring the political economy, the wealth machines into a different sort of economy? Is there something which is acceptable to us as civil society leaders? Is there something that can be described, and is Rio that place where we can start to create a new social description, a new environmental description of what we think the economy is for the 21st century? That is the challenge. The Green Economy Coalition chose the term, the green economy. It may not be ideal, it may be better if it was called a peoples’ economy or it was called a blue economy or it was called a new economy. But that was the title that was put on the table, so we worked with it. The idea is that, what is it going to mean? We need to get this description down to something we feel comfortable with. Forget the title, what does it actually mean. And that is, in essence why the principles discussion is important. Through our dialogues we’ve found that there are many different sorts of ways you can tackle this, depending on cultural, environmental and social conditions in each country. Principles begin to create connections between organisations and agenda that we can all agree on.”
Anabella Rosemberg: “The world has never been richer, has never produced so much wealth, but we have never been more unequal as a society. This is a reality in the developed and developing work. The Green Economy has to be one that is based on equality. Today we are living in a moment where there is a race to the bottom in terms of competitiveness, trying to get the cheapest labour cost, the cheapest environmental degradation, trying to run against any sort of regulation that gives dignity to people. That cannot be the future; equity has to be a core principle of our work in the future. The second one is inclusion; I’m talking about women and young people. We have today, 80 million young people unemployed. This is a major challenge. It is unfair to see future generations entering the labour market with just no opportunities.
Speculation is disconnecting the people from the economy; in fact it is disconnecting businesses from the economy. There needs to be an end to speculation.”
Rick Clugstone: “The challenge is not to create some framework for a green economy that sits over here, while the economy sits over there chugging away, business as usual. The challenge is to get in there, get into the leverage, the deep structures of what drives our economy and shift it to the future we want, to support the future we want.
With Stakeholder Forum and Bioregional we undertook some work to review the key sustainable development Declarations from the past 40 years, and to glean out the appropriate principles – that have already been agreed to by the UN consensual process – and produce a composite set of 15 Principles for the Green Economy out of those – which are: ”