Introducing the International Journal on Green Growth and Development

Green growth as a multi-strategy approach

In the backdrop of global environmental stress, financial crises and energy security concerns, a variety of "green" concepts have gained policy prominence in global debates. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June, 2012, resulted in the outcome document, The Future We Want, recognizing that green economy is not a rigid normative concept that is applicable to all countries but is rather context specific. While the report of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability recognized green growth to be one of the "powerful drivers of change".

Green growth as a concept has also been articulated by various countries and international organisations including UNEP, OECD, GGGI and World Bank. In India, for instance, the Thirteenth Finance Commission of India articulates that "green growth involves rethinking growth strategies with regard to their impact(s) on environmental sustainability and the environmental resources available to poor and vulnerable groups".

Green growth draws together a multitude of strategies, involving different stakeholders in the formulation of policies to support of social sectors, promote new technology & innovation and facilitate growth transitions within a political economy.

The need for a new knowledge initiative

According to Dr R K Pachauri (Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)), the transition to greener models requires substantial intellectual effort to define the available pathways for green growth and sustainable development. It is with this viewpoint in mind that TERI has launched the new "International Journal on Green Growth and Development". The publication provides a forum for the dissemination of scholarly work on green growth and development while also serving as a platform for debate and discussion on topics of this field.

The journal launch by Prakash Javadekar (Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India) and R K Pachauri (Director General, TERI)

The journal aims to enhance a forward looking knowledge process and new opportunities around green growth and development by engaging with stakeholders and major groups including government, research & academia, civil society, and business & industry. The journal seeks to act as a knowledge product that showcases new research and innovative practices, share knowledge, experience of people from diverse countries and sectors.

A humble beginning towards these objectives was made by TERI immediately after Rio+20 in the form of a quarterly magazine; the first issue of the Green Growth and Development Quarterly was launched in October 2012. This initiative was supported under a partnership between the British Department for International Development and TERI. After publishing five issues, based on participation and feedback, it was felt that an open access journal on the topic could be launched.

The International Journal on Green Growth and Development is hybrid in nature in the sense that it brings together peer-reviewed articles as well as features such as interviews, grassroots initiatives, and policy showcase. The uniqueness of the journal is that it included contributions from research & academia, grassroots organizations, industry and governments. Thus the journal itself is an example of a multi-stakeholder process. Details on the Journal's editorial board can be found here.

Highlights from the first issue of the journal

The first issue of The International Journal on Green Growth and Development was released on 9th January 2015 by the Honorable Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India. The first issue is a rich collection of scholarly articles, grassroots initiatives and policy showcase.

Highlights include:

  • Carlos Lopes (Economic Commission for Africa) discusses how the Social Contract for a green economy would require creating a redistributive system and new institutions that address both intragenerational and intergenerational equity.

  • Xianbin Yao (Asian Development Bank) and Venkatchalam Anbumozhi (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia) propose a meta-policy analysis action-focused approach as a method to support policy learning, drawing insights from multi-country studies.

  • Adam Pollard and Michael Depledge (European Centre for the Environment and Human Health), through a mathematical model, attempt to quantify how changes in healthcare delivery might contribute to meeting budgets and emissions reduction plans.

  • Shambu Prasad (Xavier Institute of Management) highlights the need for co-creating new knowledge with communities by discussing two Indian examples: System of Rice Intensification and Sustainable Groundwater Management Project.

  • Ruth Mourik (Dunes Works) and Sea Rotmann (Independent Consultant) showcase a rehabilitation project-Sustainable Jarva which is a part of a programme initiated by the city of Stockholm to promote sustainable development in the area.

  • The policy showcase section discusses the Guyana Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) contributed by the Office of Climate Change, Office of the President, Guyana.

  • The interview with Dr Vijay Kelkar seeks to understand the thinking on green growth within the Indian government's Finance Commission when they included green growth as one of their mandates.

  • In the concluding section of the journal Ritu Singh reviews the book on Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap in Asia published by the the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The review discusses the five tracks used to analyse policy options and calls for the need to strengthen the approach by looking at various co-benefits resulting from low carbon green growth.