Edward B. Barbier


On his book A Global Green New Deal: Rethinking the Economic Recovery

Cover Interview of September 06, 2010


Overall, this book is the culmination of over twenty-five years of thinking about “greening” modern economies.  And the subtitle, Rethinking the Economic Recovery, is in some respects its most important message.

In 1989, along with David Pearce and Anil Markandya, I authored Blueprint for a Green Economy, which presented, for the first time, practical policy measures for “greening” modern economies and putting them on a path to sustainable development.

Since then, some of these policy measures have been implemented.  Most have been ignored, however.  But a Global Green New Deal may be our last opportunity to put the world economy on a truly sustainable path.

What is urgently required is a new economic development model based on reducing environmental harm and scarcities, improving the livelihoods of the world’s poorest, training workers for twenty-first century skills and employment opportunities, and reducing the carbon dependency of the global economy. 

The book demonstrates that there is not necessarily a tradeoff between policies to improve the environment and instigating a successful and lasting world economic recovery.  To the contrary, it is necessary to reduce carbon dependency and ecological threats not just because of environmental concerns but because this is the correct—and only—way to reinvigorate the economy on a more sustained basis.

It is still not too late for the G20 and the international community to rethink the economic recovery, to enhance global climate change initiatives and negotiations, improve energy security, phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and reduce the economic vulnerability of the world’s poor.  But we may not have another twenty-five years to wait.

© 2010 Edward Barbier