The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future

ISBN-13: 978-0745303123
ISBN-10: 0745303129
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Hardcover, March 20, 1992
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Editorial Reviews


The current controversy over the future of the forest in Clayoquot Sound is seen by many as typifying the unsolvable conflict between jobs and the environment. In The Green Economy, Michael Jacobs rejects both the traditional Green demand for 'zero growth' and the new economic orthodoxy which seeks to give the environment a monetary value. In their place, he defines the concept of 'sustainability,' as founded in a concern for future generations.

But what is sustainable development? How can it be achieved? Jacobs explores these questions by analyzing the economics of the environmental crisis, showing how the operation of the 'invisible elbow' of market forces tends to cause environmental degradation. He highlights the key issues, both between rich and poor countries and between present and future generations.

Jacobs then sets out a system of 'sustainability' planning, devised to constrain the economy within environmental limits. He shows how 'green taxes' and other financial incentives, public spending, and the implementation of regulations must be combined to achieve those objectives.

This book belongs to a tradition of political economy at its best, analytically rigorous, yet informed by both the deep ethical concerns of the Green movement and an awareness of the social and political context of economic policy. Written for the non-specialist in clear prose, it offers a radical yet feasible agenda for the 1990s and beyond.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Zoe Young has researched and written about the GEF for several years with the University of Hull, and co-directed the documentary Suits and Savages - Why the World Bank Won't Save the World with Conscious Cinema. More information can be found at

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