ELIA is part of the UNEP expert group on developing Inclusive Green Growth Indicators. This expert group meets each year, during which time we contribute our expertise based on our research on climate change, energy modelling, and ecological economics.
The old economic paradigms were based on a neo-classical economics with several shortcomings, including:
- a narrow conception of human behaviour
- disregard for social, political and moral values – i.e. culture,
- based on a static economic reality that was valid at the end of the 19th Century when the limiting economic factor was built-capital, whereas it is natural capital that has now become the constraining factor,
- little empirical grounding,
- ignores transdisciplinary dialogue, and
- disregard for the value of ecosystems and the services they provide to support all life on the planet.
Furthermore, it raises several pertinent questions: can the market mechanism be a panacea for our social, psychological, cultural and political needs / problems or should we develop/use different strategies for responding to non-economic problems? Is economic growth always desirable? If it is, by how much should the economy grow and at what cost to our natural environment and social fabric?
An Ecological Economy, or also called ‘the Green Economy‘ is based on respect for the life-sustaining capacity of our planet and its proximate aim is to enhance the well-being of citizens. Its foundation is, thus, essentially different from the old economic paradigms. It is holistic in understanding and application, and dynamic in approach.