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Governance for Green Growth?

Event start: 20110225
End date: 20110225

Event description

The current structure of the global economic system lies at the heart of many debates about environmental sustainability. Decades of impressive economic growth have left
their marks on the Earth’s oceans, landscapes, rivers and atmosphere, raising the question of whether recent trends are sustainable.

One response to this question, arising in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), is the suggestion that the tension between economic growth and environmental sustainability can be resolved though “Green Growth”.

According to proponents of the concept, Green Growth emphasizes environmentally sustainable economic progress to foster low-carbon and socially inclusive development. For example, the 2009 OECD Declaration on Green Growth stated that “a number of well targeted policy instruments can be used to encourage green investment in order to simultaneously contribute to economic recovery in the shortterm, and help to build the environmentally friendly infrastructure required for a green economy in the long-term”. Other observers agree that more investment in green sectors is needed and that such investment can boost employment; however, they question the continued emphasis on ‘growth’, at least in developed economies.

A move towards Green Growth (or, more radically, to ‘steady state’ economics) will not be achieved without reforms and innovations in governance at the local, national
and global level. This workshop aims to explore the institutions and regulatory strategies that have been proposed or have emerged in recent years to facilitate the ttransition to a green economy.

The workshop will bring together researchers from around Australia and New Zealand who will present formal papers and contribute to informal discussions. We are negotiating for a selection of the papers to be published as a Special Issue of Environmental Policy and Governance. Financial support will be made available to speakers coming from inter-state.

We would like to invite paper proposals that fit within one of the following three themes:

1. Global governance for green growth?

This session will explore the institutions and regulatory strategies for green growth that have been proposed or have emerged at the global level. For example, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has put forward a proposal for a global ‘Green New Deal’ which includes recommendations for reforming the governance of international trade, aid and finance. What is the potential for international cooperation in these areas, particularly post-Copenhagen? Which global forum is most suitable for fostering such cooperation – the UN, G8, G20?

2. National and local governance for green growth?

This session will explore the institutions and regulatory strategies for green growth that have been proposed or have emerged at the national and local levels. For example, in the wake of the GFC many governments, particularly in developed countries, introduced Keynesian stimulus packages that had a strong emphasis on ‘green’ measures that simultaneously tackled unemployment and issues such as energy efficiency. How successful have such initiatives been? Is there anything distinctive about government strategies in Australia, New Zealand or other countries in Asia and the Pacific? To what extent can local governments and communities play a role in the transition to a green economy?

3. Private governance for green growth?

This session will explore the institutions and regulatory strategies for green growth that have been proposed or have emerged in the private sector. The business community clearly has a strong interest in how a green economy would be governed. What role do public-private partnerships, co- and self-regulation and corporate social responsibility play in governance for green growth?


– Expression of interest/proposed title: 30 September 2010
– Abstract: 30 October 2010
– Full Papers: 30 January 2011

To submit a proposed title or abstract please email Neil.Gunningham [at] For other enquiries please email Christian.Downie [at]

* This workshop is endorsed by the Earth System Governance project and has received financial support from the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University.


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