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‘Inclusive green growth’ – a review

Simon Maxwell, CDKN’s Executive Chairman, responds to the new World Bank policy paper on ‘Inclusive Green Growth’ in this review essay.

Simon Maxwell congratulates the authors of the World Bank paper, Marianne Fay, Stephane Hallegatte and their collaborators, on what he calls a “wide-ranging, analytical [paper], rich in examples, and practical. To my mind, there are few people working in environment or development who would not benefit from a careful reading of this text. Indeed, I would recommend setting up a reading group and taking it one chapter at a time.”

A summary of the argument

The ‘paper’ consists of a 30-page overview. The overall message is optimistic. Green growth, we are told, is (a) necessary, (b) efficient and (c) affordable, for poor countries as well as rich. It offers many opportunities for more inclusive development, meaning more jobs and better, healthier and more secure livelihoods for women and men. And the benefits can be achieved reasonably quickly, with a combination of standard growth-oriented policies, and additional measures to nudge, incentivise or regulate people, firms and government authorities to act in more environmentally sustainable ways.

Points of difference

Although Simon finds much in the report to commend it, he highlights four main points of difference with the authors, where he believes they should have elaborated or extended their arguments. The World Bank authors should have tackled more robustly the issues of:

  • Global consumption
  • Creative disruption and disruptive innovation
  • Processes for building resilience to climate change
  • Proliferation of multiple planning processes including a new
    one under the rubric of ‘green growth’

To read Simon’s full review, click on the download at right.