Green Society and Social Justice


A green society must be guided by a broad set of principles to tackle climate, increase the use of natural products and natural medicines while also providing social justice for all. Going green requires a massive change in our mindset. It must ensure those vulnerable populations – including the poor, people of color, Latinos, indigenous populations, and communities already facing environmental degradation benefit from the new green economy.

Humanity faces serious challenges in the coming decades: climate change, biodiversity loss, growing inequality, and more. These systemic global crises cannot be tackled in isolation, because they are all interconnected. But our economic systems are not fit enough to deliver a good balance of environmental and social goals

But what is exactly the vision for a green society and a green economy:

1. A green economy enables all people to create and enjoy prosperity. The green economy is people centered. Its purpose is to create value and shared prosperity. It focuses on growing wealth that will support wellbeing. This wealth is not merely financial but includes the full range of human, social, physical, and natural capitals. It offers opportunities for green and decent livelihoods, enterprises, and jobs. It is built on collective action for public goods yet is based on individual choices.

2. The green economy promotes justice within and between generations. The green economy is inclusive and non-discriminatory. It shares decision-making, benefits, and costs fairly; avoids elite capture; and especially supports minority’s empowerment. It promotes the equitable distribution of opportunity and outcome, reducing disparities between people, while also giving enough space for wildlife and wilderness. The green economy saves, restores, and invests in nature.

3. An inclusive green economy recognizes and nurtures nature’s diverse values – functional values of providing goods and services that underpin the economy, nature’s cultural values that balance societies, and nature’s ecological values that underpin all of life itself.

4. The green economy is geared to support sustainable consumption as well as sustainable production. An inclusive green economy is low-carbon, resource-conserving, diverse, and circular. It embraces new models of economic development that address the challenge of creating prosperity within planetary boundaries. It recognizes there must be a significant global shift to limit the consumption of natural resources to physically sustainable levels if we are to remain within planetary boundaries.

5. The green economy is guided by integrated, accountable, and resilient institutions. An inclusive green economy is evidence-based – its norms and institutions are interdisciplinary, deploying both sound science and economics along with local knowledge for adaptive strategy. It is supported by institutions that are integrated, collaborative, and coherent – horizontally across sectors and vertically across governance levels – and with adequate capacity to meet their respective roles in effective, efficient, and accountable ways. It requires public participation, prior informed consent, transparency, social dialogue, democratic accountability, and freedom from vested interests in all institutions – public, private and civil society – so that enlightened leadership is complemented by societal demand. It builds a financial system to deliver wellbeing and sustainability, set up in ways that safely serve the interests of society.

The green society and economy are a universal and transformative change to the global status quo. It will require a fundamental shift in government priorities. Realizing this change is not easy, but it is necessary if we are planning for a better short- and long-term future for all.

It is not a secret, going green can save us money to invest in low rent housing for the poor and the middle class, as well as providing healthcare and education for all.

Going Green is the only way of moving from Good to Great.

Reference: Oxford and Princeton Universities’ Green Articles

The Green Factor