The Info List - Green Liberalism

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Green liberalism, or liberal environmentalism,[1] is liberalism that includes green politics in its ideology. Green liberals are usually liberal on social issues and "green" on economic issues.[1] The term "green liberalism" was coined by political philosopher Marcel Wissenburg in his 1998 book Green Liberalism: The Free and The Green Society. He argues that liberalism must reject the idea of absolute property rights and accept restraints that limit the freedom to abuse nature and natural resources. However, he rejects the control of population growth and any control over the distribution of resources as incompatible with individual liberty, instead favoring supply-side control: more efficient production and curbs on overproduction and over-exploitation. This view tends to dominate the movement, although critics say it actually puts individual liberties above sustainability.[2]


1 Philosophy 2 Green neoliberalism

2.1 History 2.2 Characteristics and context

3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Philosophy[edit] Green liberalism values the Earth
very highly, emphasizing the importance of the planet being passed down to the next generation unharmed.[3] Green liberalism accepts that the natural world is in a state of flux and does not seek to conserve the natural world as it is. However, it does seek to minimize the damage done by the human species on the natural world and to aid the regeneration of damaged areas. Green liberalism seeks to combine liberal democratic institutions and tenets such as equality and freedom of the individual with environmental protections that seek to reduce major threats to the environment like overconsumption and air pollution. On economic issues, green liberals take a position somewhere between classical liberalism (on the center/center-right) and social liberalism (on the center/center-left): green liberals may favor slightly less government involvement than social liberals, but far more than classical liberals. Some green liberals practice free-market environmentalism and thus share some values with rightist classical liberalism or libertarianism. This is one of a few reasons why a blue-green alliance is possible in politics. The historian Conrad Russell, a British Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, dedicated a chapter of his book The Intelligent Person's Guide to Liberalism
to the subject of green liberalism. The term "green liberalism" was coined, however, by political philosopher Marcel Wissenburg in his 1998 book Green Liberalism: The Free and The Green Society., among others. The Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
under Stéphane Dion
Stéphane Dion
placed the environment at the front of its political agenda, proposing an ecotax and tax shift called the Green Shift. Similarly, the British Liberal Democrats have drawn on the same concept to propose a "Green Tax Switch".[4] Green neoliberalism[edit] History[edit] One kind of green liberalism is called green neoliberalism, which became significant and increasingly prominent in world institutions beginning in the 1980s. In this decade, the two main institutions of global development, the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
and the World Bank, began to face increasing global outrage as a result of their structural adjustment plans, which were loans with severe conditions on debt-ridden countries. The conditions focused on austerity measures, e.g. reducing government control of the market and provision of social services and liberalizing trade, thus enabling corporations from the Global North
Global North
to enter into developing countries and out-compete local markets.[5] This caused social unrest to increase on many fronts: farmers were losing their livelihoods to large corporations importing artificially cheap, subsidized stable crops from the Global North; industrialized agriculture and agronomy became the status quo in both research institutions and practice, bringing with it many environmental and social costs;[6] and companies could move their operations to countries where labor was cheaper much more easily, meaning some people lost their jobs while others accepted very low wages. People, social movements and non-governmental organizations began to openly criticize and blame the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
for being the root cause of the food crises, job losses and environmental degradation. This was picked up by media in the Global North
Global North
as well, adding to the shift of the view of the Global South as "happy recipients of Bank aid" [7] to very real and vivid images of bread riots, protests, mass marches and fasts. The pressure was heightened by the increasingly prominent environmental movement, which brought attention to the way that business as usual economics did not account for environmental costs, the largest of which, which is in turn connected to many other problems, is human-caused climate change. In response to this criticism, the World Bank
World Bank
first responded with denial. When this did not prove effective, it completely turned around and decided to make significant changes in its organization.[8] Led by actors within the Bank who were intent on reforming it in response to global criticism, the Bank now made the environment one of its primary focuses. Whereas in 1985 the World Bank
World Bank
had only five staff working on environmental issues, with a budget of less than $15 million, by 1995 it had more than three hundred environment-related staff, with almost one billion dollars to work with.[9] An entirely new Environment Department was created, which had to approve the environmental sustainability of large-scale projects before they were implemented. Characteristics and context[edit] Thus began a new era of green neoliberalism, in which the World Bank and its fellow institutions did not let go of their neoliberal ideology, i.e. their commitment to free-market economics, low regulation, free trade, and so on, but at the same time adopted the mainstream rhetoric of sustainability and environmental consciousness.[9] This kind of green liberalism is mainly economic and it is supported by a range of people, both socially liberal and socially conservative. It is related to, if not synonymous, with eco-capitalism. In the larger context of the history of development, this transition follows a trajectory that began with modernization theory and a project to modernize developing countries, followed by the globalization project, where free-market and free-trade was meant to help countries develop, which was then succeeded by the sustainability project.[10] The green neoliberal view of sustainability is one of weak sustainability, which contrasts with many ecologists' view of strong sustainability.[11] See also[edit]

Bright Future (Iceland) Centre Party (Sweden) Civil Will-Green Party Climate justice Conservation movement Dialogue for Hungary Earth
Party Eco-capitalism Eco-feminism Ecologist Party of Romania Eco-socialism Green conservatism Green Liberal Democrats Green Liberal Party of Switzerland Green libertarianism Green Party of Ontario/Canada Greens and the Left Party of the Future GroenLinks Hatnuah Independent Greens of Virginia Liberal Party (Norway) New Liberalism Politics Can Be Different
Politics Can Be Different


^ a b "Book Details: The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism". Columbia University Press. Retrieved 4 August 2015.  ^ "Review of Marcel Wissenburg's "Green Liberalism: The Free and the Green Society"". academia.edu. Retrieved 23 January 2018.  ^ How to be a Green Liberal, (Book synopsis), Author: Simon Hailwood, 2004. (Retrieved August 21, 2008.) ^ http://www.libdems.org.uk/home/green-tax-switch-439116;show ^ Liverman, Diana and Vilas, S. Neoliberalism
and the Environment in Latin America, Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 2006. 31:327–63 ^ Kasi, E. (2010), Peter M. Rosset. Food is Different: Why We Must Get the WTO Out of Agriculture (Halifax, Nova Scottia: Fernwood Publishing, Bangalore: Books for Change, Kuala Lumpur: SIRD, Cape Town: David Philip, and London & New York: Zed Books, 2006, ISBN 1- 84277-755-6, 1-84277-754-8, pp. 194). J. Int. Dev., 22: 1044–1045. ^ Goldman, Michael. Imperial Nature: The World Bank
World Bank
and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization. Yale University Press, 2005. p. 94 ^ Goldman, Michael. Imperial Nature: The World Bank
World Bank
and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization. Yale University Press, 2005. p. 96 ^ a b Goldman, Michael. Imperial Nature: The World Bank
World Bank
and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization. Yale University Press, 2005. p. 97 ^ McMichael, Philip. Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2012. Print. ^ Brown, Clair. Buddhist Economics: an enlightened approach to the dismal science. New York: Bloomsbury, 2017. Print. p. 65

External links[edit]

Green Liberal Democrats - United Kingdom. www.ecoliberalismo.com GLP - Netherlands. Green Parties World Wide

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