Greening the Economy Archive

Capacity Energy Markets: a view from Germany and the United States

The German Energiewende shows that the current German electricity system can easily cope with 25 percent renewables. But exceeding these 25 percent will be a crossroad, as now event the strongest proponents of the Energiewende agree that Germany needs to reform its energy system to accommodate for the next influx of renewables.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, launched on July 10th in Brussels, debunks the myth that the world is seeing a nuclear renaissance.Two years after Fukushima, global nuclear power generation continues to decline.

Smart Growth: the Green Revolution

In his book Smart Growth: the Green Revolution, Ralf Fücks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation argues that while the calls for the end of growth are not realistic there is a possibility to follow a growth pathway that goes hand-in-hand with ecological sustainability.

HBS Tours Exploring the Energiewende

This summer the Heinrich Böll Foundation is leading several tours to enhance awareness of the renewable energy revolution in Europe. The tours include US congressional staff examining EU low carbon economies, US energy and climate funders looking at renewable communities, and American and European journalists focusing on environmental issues.

German Energy Transition #6

While the US energy sector is good for big business, Germany’s is good for citizens. Germans not only want clean power; they also want to make it themselves. When locals own and control their environment, the acceptance of renewables increases, argues Craig Morris.

Privatizing the Governance of Green Growth

Many powerful transnational corporations (TNCs) have growing influence over the governance of resources in sectors, such as energy and agriculture. This paper addresses the strategic dilemmas faced by civil society organizations that address corporate power in their struggles to curb global warming and achieve the human rights, including the rights to food and energy.

International Resource Politics: New Challenges Demanding New Governance Approaches for a Green Economy

Natural resources are back on the agenda. After the rise of new economic powers such as China, India, and Brazil, global competition has perceptibly increased strategic concerns. Germany, the EU, the US and others have formulated raw material strategies that put concern over access and supply at center stage – but the environmental and the socio-political dimensions are widely neglected in these strategies.

A Critique of the Green Economy. Toward Social and Environmental Equity

Since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, we've seen a worsening of all important ecological trends, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and scarcity of resources. This essay describes a policy of less and wealth measured in "just enough" to allow a decent life without poverty for all.

Low Hanging Fruit: Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Climate Finance, and Sustainable Development

In a time of economic hardship, dangerous climate change, and growing demand for reliable and cleaner sources of energy, global fossil fuel subsidies for production and consumption remain staggeringly high; however, momentum for subsidy reform is growing internationally. Greater transparency and equity need to be at the heart of such reforms, argues this report.

An Endless Wait with Uncertain Future: Unpacking the Energy Crisis

The urgent need to address climate change, the concerns of depleting fossil fuel reserves, volatile global oil prices and continued economic crisis amongst other reasons have put energy at the center of public policy debates. While the discussions are centered around addressing energy security, often focused primarily around electricity generation, the more immediate energy crisis is in creating equitable energy access and eradicating energy poverty.

Biomassters Battle to Control the Green Economy

At Rio+20, the concept of the "green economy" focuses on industrial production from biomass as one way to overcome fossil fuel dependency. The push for a bio-based economy comes with a call for market-based mechanisms for the financialization of the Earth’s natural processes, re-branded as ‘ecosystem services’, which also encourage land and water grabs.

Green Deal Nigeria

The Green Deal Nigeria study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation focuses on the potential for a greener Nigeria and is being launched as the country prepares for the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit. The study provides an overview and practical examples of how to green Nigeria before 2020 and explains the long-term measures that Nigeria needs to take today to make the economy grow beyond oil.

World Bank’s “Inclusive Green Growth” (IGG) Report – A Brief Assessment

The World Bank's May 2012 volume on "Inclusive Green Growth" has some positive solutions to offer, but falls short in several crucial ways: the lack of emphasis on poverty reduction, equality and human rights; an uncritical regard for market mechanisms to govern asset markets, and a view of infrastructure as the “heart of green growth,” among other things.

Going Green: Chemicals Fields of Action for a Resourceefficient Chemical Industry

The chemical industry in Germany plays a key role in the economy as a whole and the country's international competitiveness. It provides more than 290,000 well paying jobs. The capacity of the chemical industry for innovation is crucial for finding solutions to some of the major challenges of our time such as climate change and the resource crisis: chemicals can help to insulate buildings, generate solar power, build cleaner cars and increase material efficiency.

Preventing Wall-E

Since 2002, the world community has been struggling to formulate a framework for sustainable consumption and production. In this paper, "Preventing Wall-E", Victoria Floor describes the struggle, the high stakes and the importance of a Rio +20 agreement.

The Green Economy – The New Magic Bullet?

In this essay, the president of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Barbara Unmuessig, critically reflects on the opportunities for and the shortcomings of the concept of a "Green Economy" to influence economic policy making globally, its relationship to the paradigm of sustainable development and the need to rethink our understanding and focus on growth.

The Future We Want. A Feminist Perspective

The multiple crises – the financial crash, hunger, climate change and resource scarcity – demonstrate emphatically that neoliberal market globalization cannot fulfill its promises: namely to bring about the optimal allocation of resources on the entire planet and thus be a win-win game for all.

Gender Equity and Sustainable Development: Prioritizing Actions To Achieve Results


Today, prospects for sustainable development remain a serious challenge as our global economy, our natural environment, our social well-being, and our political structures are in crisis. From the economy to climate change to food and agriculture, systems of governance are in disarray. Everyone is struggling more intensely in today’s world – particularly women and girls.

Baltic Sea: Developing a Regional Cooperation for Renewables in the Electricity Sector

In this paper, Mats Abrahamsson takes a closer look at a region that could be a pioneer for regional cooperation in the EU: the Baltic Sea Region. As the first region with an EU regional cooperation initiative and with a long-lasting tradition of cooperation, this region could play an essential role in showing the EU the way forward by sharing their large potential of diverse renewable energy sources.

German Greens Want to Strengthen Transatlantic Cooperation on Climate Change

The German Green Party suggests turning climate change cooperation into a strategic priority in the transatlantic relationships. This is the core demand of the motion 17/7356 passed by the Greens in the parliament, the Deutscher Bundestag. Though Congress is so far not acting on climate change, there are other pillars in the US society to connect to and foster collaboration and mutual learning across the Atlantic. One of the vehicles for this is the Transatlantic Climate Bridge of the German government that should be strengthened, according to the resolution of the Greens.

Why the Green New Deal is a Response to the European Debt Crisis

The global economic crisis has not been overcome; its character has merely changed. Similar to the crisis in the banking sector, the European government debt crisis is typical of a large-scale financial crisis, the “Second Great Depression,” and managing it has to be addressed in this context.

Wheel of Life - Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy

The links between climate change and industrial agriculture create a nexus of crises—food insecurity, natural resource depletion and degradation, as well as human rights violations and inequities. This report unravels the interrelated causes of and effects on these issues.

Harvesting Renewable Energy in the Midwest

This report is in the final product of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tour. It shares the German success of using policy to develop rural renewable energy projects and how farms in the US states of South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin can increase their renewable energy capacity.

Growth of Limits


On the road to ecological modernity, prosperity is possible without having to destroy the basis of our livelihood.

The Future of E-mobility in Germany and the US

Ralf Fücks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, gave a welcome address at the conference “Opportunities and Challenges: The Future of E-mobility in Germany and the US”. The e-mobility conference was hosted by the German Embassy and The Representative of German Industry and Trade in Washington D.C. on March 30, as part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge initiative.

Our Daily Meat

Americans consumed 275lb of meat in 2010. That is more than 341 grams each day. Most Americans do not know - or care to know - where their daily meat comes from. The truth is: in the United States, 79% of pigs are raised on farms with 2,000 pigs or more. These factory farms promised better employment, affordable food for everybody and better, more efficient farming practices. They delivered the opposite.

Get the Facts Right: Germany has seen a Boom in Green Jobs

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has recently published a new report: The Myth of Green Jobs - The European Experience. It claims that clean energy technologies increase energy prices and don’t lead to a net job growth in Europe. Given the German experience, Arne Jungjohann argues, AEI’s report has several flaws.

Greening Capitalism is not Enough

In many places, including Germany, the idea of a Green New Deal continues to be criticized from the well-known conservative angle and, more recently, from a progressive perspective as well. This new critique of the Green New Deal is not valid because it fails to understand that the Green New Deal does not entail a simple “greenwashing” of the existing system.

Mission Impossible?

Der Kopenhagener Klimagipfel hat in Europa für Enttäuschung gesorgt. Nicht so in der USA. Klimaschützer kämpfen hier weiter um das Klimagesetz. Doch eine Mehrheit ist alles andere als sicher. IN GERMAN ONLY.

The case for a green economy that works for all

According to an estimate of the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the global financial crisis destroyed 40% of the world’s GDP. Since then, stock indices show a significant recovery of the lost wealth; however, analyses are likely to show that, on the whole, the response to the crisis (government stimulus packages and especially bank bail-outs of worldwide estimated $14 trillion) redistributed wealth upward. In the U.S., unemployment has exceeded the 10% mark and one out of every nine people receives food stamps.

The Green New Deal

Humanity is confronted by historic challenges. While the economic and financial crisis has rocked the foundations of our economic system and threatened the livelihoods of millions of people here in Europe and in the rest of the world, we cannot afford any further delay in tackling the crises in the realms of climate change and global justice.

Going Green. The Future has Begun

The green industrial revolution will, on a grand scale, create new products, services, and jobs. Although much remains to be done, the great transformation is on its way. In this collection of short articles, the authors debate the pros and cons of carbon capture and storage, the American turn to "green," and the questions of how economic growth and climate protection can be reconciled.

Abbruch oder Durchbruch? - US Klimapolitik vor Kopenhagen

Since the inauguration of Barack Obama, the US-Administration is accelerating climate protection efforts. However, obstacles in both chambers of Congress delay these efforts. The authors review recent achievements in US-climate legislation, provide an outlook on the probable US position in the upcoming Copenhagen conference and explain what this implies for viable strategies for European and other countries. read more (in GERMAN ONLY)»

Towards a Global Green Recovery – Supporting Green Technology Markets

Two major global challenges - the financial crisis and climate change - make it urgent to rally the world behind the idea of a “green new deal” or a “global green recovery.” To help G20 nations overcome these challenges, the Federal Foreign Office asked Atlantic Initiative to develop specific and actionable policy recommendations on how to provide effective international support to green technology markets and push the issue in the G20 framework.

Toward a Transatlantic Green New Deal


The grave financial and economic crisis that broke into full view in the fall of 2008 has dominated headlines and politics. The imagery of a Green New Deal is important in that it suggests an ambitious approach predicated on the need for strong government action and a decisive break with old policies.

Urban Futures 2030

Urban Futures pursues two corresponding ideas: The first objective is to deepen the transnational dialog over the role of cities in solving the climate crisis. The second objective is to collect visions and models of sustainable architecture and urban planning and present them to a broader public.