A collection of principles for the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
Source: Earth Charter International, Stakeholder Forum, Bioregional
As we approach the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (UNCSD) or 'Rio+20', we stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. The identification of the 'green economy' as one of the key themes for the Summit represents a significant opportunity to define a new global economic paradigm, but it also entails a risk that previously 'hard-won' global agreements on sustainable development might be lost or obscured in the pursuit of new agenda. There are also as yet few definitions as to what constitutes a 'green economy', which make some actors weary about its potential application. Recognizing the challenges of this 'new' agenda, it is therefore critical that any global agreements that advance progress towards a green economy are governed by an over-arching set of principles that have common currency among governments and stakeholders alike. Arriving at an all-encompassing definition of a green economy may be both laborious and constraining, so the application of broader principles may ultimately prove more helpful. There is range of literature that can be drawn upon in the identification of some common guiding principles for the green economy. The following document aims to combine some of the most prominent existing principles relating to sustainable development and the green economy into a cohesive guiding tool. Fifteen principles have been identified that represent a consolidation of existing international agreements and more radical and forward-thinking proposals, cutting across The Stockholm Declaration, the Rio Declaration, The Johannesburg Declaration, The Earth Charter, The One Planet Living Principles, The Green Economy Coalition, the TUC Just Transition principles, and The New Economics Foundation. One of the goals of the Rio+20 Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development. To enhance political will to achieve an ambitious outcome from Rio+20, the international community will have to agree on a common ethical framework of shared values and principles. This document offers State and non-State actors an overview the kinds of principles that might constitute that framework. This document has been put together by Stakeholder Forum in collaboration with Bioregional and the Earth Charter Initiative.