The Meaning of Green Growth

Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, 2013

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-12

55 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2014 Last revised: 8 Feb 2014

Date Written: January 20, 2014

Abstract

Although the term is still rarely used in the United States, in recent years “green growth” has become part of the lexicon of global environmental policy. Unfortunately, although it is frequently cited as a public policy goal, green growth has remained vague and ill-defined, leading to conflicting interpretations and confusion over the distinction between green growth and related concepts like sustainable development. This paper seeks to clarify the meaning of green growth as a distinct concept, defining a “green growth frontier” of policies that dominate along both environmental and economic dimensions. The green growth agenda can be understood as moving societies toward that frontier of cost-effective and environmentally effective policies. Because movements toward this frontier generate gains along multiple dimensions, they should be less controversial and may allow for some progress toward economic and environmental goals even in contexts where broader political consensus over environmental policies is difficult to form.

Keywords: green growth, cost-benefit analysis, environmental regulation, better regulation, OIRA

Suggested Citation

Livermore, Michael A., The Meaning of Green Growth (January 20, 2014). Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, 2013, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2382052

Michael A. Livermore (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

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