What is Green Economics ? Green economics is an approach to economics in which the economy is considered to be a component of, and dependent upon, the natural world within which it resides and of which it is a part. Takes the widest possible view of stakeholders of a transaction to include impacts to nature, non-human species, the planet, earth sciences, the biosphere. Includes and builds on environmental economics and ecological economics, and includes principles of social equity at the core of its concerns.
Three Axioms of Green Economics It is impossible to expand forever into a finite space. It is impossible to take forever from a finite resource. Everything on the surface of the Earth is interconnected.
Subsets of Green Economics Environmental Economics Resource Economics Sustainable Development
Environmental Economics Environmental Economics undertakes theoretical or empirical studies of the economic effects of national or local environmental policies around the world. Particular issues include the costs and benefits of alternative environmental policies to deal with air pollution, water quality, toxic substances, solid waste and global warming.
Resource Economics The field of resource economics includes the study of environmental economics, agricultural production and marketing, bioeconomics, community economic development, resource utilization, and environmental policy. It has evolved as the idea of "natural resources" and "human resources" were challenged by the ideas of "natural capital" and "human capital" and is now hard to characterize as a separate field of its own. It was a major influence on the theory of Natural Capitalism and of eco-villages.
Sustainable Development Sustainable development is defined as balancing the fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into four constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, social sustainability and political sustainability.
Concerns of Green Economics Global Warming Pollution and Waste Disposal Depleting Resources Water Energy
Global Warming Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. An increase in global temperatures is expected to cause sea level rise, increased intensity of extreme weather events, changes in agricultural yields, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
Pollution and Waste Disposal Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances or energy ) into the environment which result in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm living resources and ecosystems, and impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment. Waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials, usually ones produced by human activity, in an effort to reduce their effect on human health or local aesthetics or amenity. A subfocus in recent decades has been to reduce waste materials effect on the natural world and the environment and to recover resources from them.
Depleting ResourcesWater resources Water quality has become a critical issue as ground water depletion has worsened over the years. Biological contamination of fresh water resources has severely impacted availability of fresh water. Lowest availability of fresh water in the world by 2025: World Bank Report. Need for Rainwater Harvesting, Reuse and Recycling.
Depleting ResourcesEnergy Non judicious use of non renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels have made it imperative to look for alternative sources of energy. Renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar power, tidal power, geothermal power, hydropower, methanol, ethanol and biodiesel, which do not suffer from finite energy reserves, but do have a finite energy flow have to be explored.
INITIATIVES TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT The U.S. government has recently shifted subsidies worth $16b from big oil to renewable sources of energy. Germany provides substantial subsidies for installing solar electricity. The U.K. government uses company car tax and road tax to keep a tab on Carbon-di-oxide emissions. Indian government has proposed tax rebates on using CFL’s.
INITIATIVES TAKEN BY CORPORATIONS Compared to 1990,energy consumption by industry has fallen by 5%. Climate change levy, EU emission trading scheme. The government recently launched the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) for the construction sector with an aim to increase the energy efficiency of new buildings.