UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other parties are suggesting that the economic downturn of 2008-2010 could be countered by so-called "Green Growth".
It should be remembered that the downturn was sparked by the Subprime Crises, i.e. the bursting of the housing bubble that had promised forever growing real estate prices.
The UNEP's notions of a "green economy" appear being largely based upon a research paper that the UNEP commissioned to an economics professor, Edward B Barbier, from the American University of Wyoming.
Professor Barbier makes the impression of a flat earth man, someone who believes the earth and its resources have no limits, thinking growth can be immaterialised.
This is in direct conflict with economic practice. Growth is expressed in GDP increase. Gross Domestic Product is money, which represents resources. A higher GDP means that more resources are used, mostly nonrenewable.
A higher material efficiency means less resource use. This will lower the GDP.
"Dematerialised" or "decoupled" growth" is nonsense. We cannot produce more without using more resources, neither for industrial and agricultural production, nor for "services", which include such resource-intensive activities as transportation.
Barbier's green illusions at ecoglobe.org .
"Green Economy" analysis at ecoglobe.ch.