European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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3 July 2013, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, room B; 12h15-13h45

ETUI Monthly Forum - Beyond austerity: return of the green economy?

Speaker: Matthias Lievens, Researcher at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) and co-author of the book The myth of the green economy

Comments: Benjamin Denis, ETUC Adviser

Moderator: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI

In response to the financial and economic crisis of 2008-9, a global ‘Green New Deal’ was hailed as the best road to recovery with the United Nations as well as the European Union lending strong political support to investing in the green economy. But as Europe’s economic crisis turned into a sovereign debt crisis and harsh austerity and ‘structural reform’ measures became the new EU mantra, policies on climate change and greening the economy were quickly put on the back burner.

This next ETUI Monthly Forum will discuss the future of the green economy with Matthias Lievens, one of the authors of the successful Flemish publication ‘De mythe van de groene economie’ (‘The myth of the green economy’) (2012). The book, written with co-author Anneleen Kenis, highlights the myths and realities of the green economy and questions the market-based approaches to decoupling economic growth from its environmental and resource impacts.

Can our political and economic elites halt global warming through market mechanisms such as emissions trading? Will the green economy deliver social equity? Will markets, technological innovation and sustainable consumption be sufficient to turn the tide? Can the transition to a green economy emerge as the real alternative now that the political hegemony of the austerity narrative seems to be crumbling? Can the transition to a sustainable future take place without deep social change and how can it deliver more equality and better democracy?

Further Reading:

A light lunch will be served from 11h45 onwards in front of the room. To register for this event: Nar Bilgic (

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