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Eco-capitalism , Also Known As environmental capitalism or green capitalism , is the view That capital exists in Nature as ” natural capital ” ( ecosystems That-have ecological yield ) is qui all wealth depends, and therefore, market-based government policy instruments (Such as cap and trade systems ) should be used to resolve environmental problems. [1]

The term “Blue Greens” is often applied to those who espouse eco-capitalism. It is considered as the right-wing equivalent to Red Greens . [2]


The roots of eco-capitalism can be traced back to the late 1960s. The ” Tragedy of the Commons “, an essay published in 1968 in Science by Garrett Hardin , Claimed the inevitability of Malthusian catastrophe due to liberal or democratic government’s policies to leave family size matters to the family, and Enabling the welfare state to willingly care for potential overpopulation. [3]Hardin argued that if families were given freedom of choice in the matter, they would be removed from a state of welfare, parents would be able to provide for their “litter”, thus solving the problem of overpopulation. This represents an early argument made from an eco-capitalist standpoint: overpopulation would be technically be solved by a free market. John Baden , a collaborator with Garrett Hardin are other works Including Managing the Commons, founded the Political Economy Research Center (now called Expired the Property and Environment Research Center ) in 1982. As one of the first eco-capitalist created organisms, PERC’s Ongoing Mission is “improving environmental quality through property rights and markets”. [4]The most popular eco-capitalist idea was emissions trading , or more commonly, cap and trade. [5] Emissions trading, a market-based approach that allows polluting entities to be purchased or allowed, being marketed in the late 1960s. International emissions trading was significantly popularized in the 1990s when the United Nations adopted the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. [6]

Eco-capitalist theorists

Terry L. Anderson is a graduate of the University of Montana, and received his Ph.D from Washington University. [7] Anderson is currently serving as the co-chair of the Hoover Institution’s Property Rights, Freedom and Prosperity Task Force. Anderson advocates that free markets can be both economically beneficial and environmentally protective. Anderson specializes in how markets Native American communities and their economies.

Bruce Yandle , a graduate of Mercer University, attended Georgia State University where he earned a MBA and PhD. [8] Yandle is currently serving as dean emeritus of Clemson University’s college of business. Yandle is prominent in the field of eco-capitalism for his story of the “Bootlegger and the Baptist”. Yandle’s Theory of the Bootlegger and the Baptist Positions that ethical groups, religious institutions and business leaders can align their organizations in the interest of regulation and economic growth.

[9] [ better source needed ] [10] [ better source needed ] [11] [12] [13]

Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken decided on a young age to dedicate his life to making business eco-friendlier. Hawken’s is the architect of the United States first natural foods company, where Erewhon Trading Company were organically composed. Hawken’s continued to make an impact on the business world by founding the research organization, Natural Capital Institute, and developed, Wiser Earth , a program focused on providing a platform for all to communicate about the environment. Not only has Paul Hawken set up a good example of how to transform economy into eco-capitalism, but also has authored hundreds of publications, including four best selling books. [14]In his writings, Hawken stresses that many smart ecological options are out there for businesses that will help save the environment, while also continuing to bring profit. One idea discussed in his book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution , is the possibility of developing lightweight, electricity-powered cars as an alternative to our current transportation issue. Hawken attributes the hesitancy of adopting these options to lack of knowledge of these alternatives and high initial costs. [15] Paul Hawken is now the head of OneSun, Inc., an energy corporation focused on low-cost solar. [14]

Lester Brown

Lester Brown began his career as a tomato farmer in New Jersey, before earning his degree at Rutgers University and traveling to rural India for a six-month study of the country’s food and population crisis. From this point on, Brown’s focus was mostly on finding alternatives that would solve the world’s population and resources problem. With financial support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund , Brown created the Worldwatch Institute , the first dedicated to global environmental research problems. In 2001, Brown found the Earth Policy Institute , an organization that outlined a vision for creating an environmentally sustainable economy. Over the course of his career, Lester Brown has authored over 50 books and received 25 honorary degrees.[16] In his publications, Brown discusses how the key to an eco-friendly economy is an environmentally friendly and substitutable hazardous aspects of the environment, like fossil fuels with renewable energy. [17] On June 2015, Lester Brown retired from the Earth Policy and closed the institute. [16]

Transition to eco-capitalism

The ideology of eco-capitalism is adopted to satisfy two competing needs: 1) the desire for generating profit by businesses in a capitalist society and 2) the urgency for proper actions to address a struggling environment negatively impacted by human activity. Under the doctrine of eco-capitalism, businesses commodify the act of addressing environmental issues. [18] [19]

The following are common principles in the transition to eco-capitalism.

Green consumption

Further information: Green consumption

At the conception of the ideology, Paul Hawken, Lester Brown, and Francis Cairncross, major theorists of eco-capitalism, saw an opportunity to establish a different approach to a capitalist society. [19] These theorists thought that green products, green taxes, green labeling, and eco-conscious shopping “existed. [19] The resulting “shopping for a way to sustainability” mentality encourages the development of organic farming, renewable energy, green certifications and other eco-friendly practices. [19]

Carbon trading

Further information: Carbon trading

Establishing the first major eco-capitalist endorsement, many political and economic institutions support a system of pollution credits. Such a system, which assigns property rights to emissions, is considered to be the most efficient and effective way of regulating greenhouse gas emissions in the current neoliberal global economy. [20] Especially in the case of tradable pollution credits, the resulting market-based system of emissions regulation and the use of positive reinforcement (ie ability to trade unused credits) and punishment (ie the need to buy more credits). [21]

Full cost accounting

Environmental full cost accounting discloses corporate actions on the basis of the triple bottom line, which is best summed up as “people, planet, and profit”. As a concept of corporate social responsibility, full cost accounting not only considers social and economic costs and benefits, but also the environmental implications of specific corporate actions. [22]

Genuine progress indicator

The current standard of using the gross domestic product (GDP) as an indicator of welfare is criticized for being inaccurate. An alternative to GDP, the real progress indicator compensates for the shortcomings of the GDP as a welfare indicator. [23]


Majority of the tradition of unregulated capitalism is due to eco-capitalism’s increased regulation. Pollution credits are traditionally at odds with economically conservative ideologies. Elements of unregulated capitalism prefer environmental issues to be Addressed by Individuals Who May allocate Their Own income and wealth, [24] opposes the commodification of by-products like carbon emission, and positive EMPHASIZE Incentives to Maintain resources through free-market competition and entrepreneurship.

Proponents of eco-capitalism view According to these proponents, since free market capitalism is inherently expansionist in tendency, ignoring environmental responsibility is a danger to the environment. [25] Approximately 36% of Americans are deeply concerned about climate issues. [26] Proponents of Eco Capitalism typically favor political environmentalism , which emphasizes negative incentives like regulation and taxes to encourage the conservation of resources and prevent environmental harm. [27]

Political theorist, Antonio Gramsci , cites theories of common sense , which suggests that, in general, free market capitalism is absent from environmental reform, is ingrained in the minds of its members as the only viable and successful form of economic organization through cultural hegemony . Therefore, the proposal of any alternative economic system, like eco-capitalism, must overcome the predominant common sense and economic status quo in order to develop opposing theories. Nonetheless, movements in the United States and abroad have continued to expand their operations.

Another political theorist, Daniel Tanuro, explains, in his book “Green Capitalism: Why it Can not Work”, that for green capitalism to be successful, it would have to replace current mainstream capitalism with Eco-socialist methods, while defying corporate interests :

  • “If by ‘green capitalism’ we understand the qualitative, social and ecological parameters are taken into account by the competing capitals, which is to say even within the economic activity of an endogenous mechanism, then we are completely deluded. In fact, we would be talking about a form of capitalism in which the law is no longer in operation, which is a contradiction in terms “(112) [28]

However, Tanuro adds that it is necessary, because it will invariably increase emissions as manufacturing processes and distribution systems progress. [29] Tanuro argues for changes in three areas:

  1. Use of transportation methods
  2. Agriculture and dietary changes
  3. Overall consumer lifestyle and market spending

Despite this argument, the claim is still sustainable, and it is not enough to have a socio-environmental solution. In accord with hegemony , capitalism agrees that the government has little control over marketers, sellers, and consumers ultimately drive the market. In contrast, in green capitalism, the government would have more control therefore; consumers do not have direct power over the market, and should not be held accountable. [30] Thus, going against the established monetary system of capitalism in the US and spread throughout the world.

Environmental Scholar Bill McKibben proposes “full scale climate mobilization” to address environmental decay. [31] During World War II, vehicles manufacturers and general manufacturers, manufacturers of military vehicles and war time goods. McKibben argues that, to combat environmental change, the American Military Industrial Complex and other national arms producers could shift to producing solar panels, wind turbines and other environmental products in an Eco-Capitalist system.

Scholar Elliot Sperber counters McKibben’s argument, citing that industrial environmental mobilization favoring eco-capitalism would exacerbate socioeconomic stratification. [32] Sperber counters the notion that “full scale climate mobilization” and the production it implies the best immediate solution for addressing climate change. Because Eco Capitalism is still capitalistic, it links to production of goods. Sperber argues for the production of less goods (ie less plastics, less vehicles) to minimize carbon footprints.

Apparent criticisms have concerns and need for social and economic transformation on both ends of the political and theoretical divide. Nonetheless, they have formed the market for economic growth and are more important than others.

Appeal of renewable energy in the capitalist market

Tom Randall , a special correspondent in renewable energy for Bloomberg, calls to attention that wind and solar (energy sources) are “outperforming” fossil fuels . [33] In terms of investments, clean energy outperforms both gas and coal by a 2-1 margin. This positive margin may be attributed to the renewable price of renewable energy production. Renewable energy sourceshold assertive advantages over fossil fuels because they exist as technologies, not fuels. As time proceeds, renewable energy inevitably becomes more efficient as technology adapts. Technologies for extracting fuels may change, but the fuels remain as constant. Over the last 15 years, the solar industry has doubled seven times and the industry has doubled four times. [33] In contrast, the fossil fuel industry has declined over the last 15 years. America’s coal industry has lost 75 percent of its value within the past few years. [34]

Renewable energy sources also gain advantages over the fossil fuel industry through international governmental support . Globally, governments implement subsidies to boost the renewable energy industry. Concurrently, various global efforts fight against fossil fuel production and use. [35] The demand for renewable energy sources in the last 15 years, while fossil fuels have fallen dramatically in demand (in capitalist societies). [36]

The worldwide concern of climate change (also known as global warming ) is the largest contributor to the green energy industry’s rapid acceleration, just as it is largely responsible for the decline of the fossil fuel industry . The overwhelming scientific consensus of climate change and its potential catastrophic effects have caused a large share of the world’s population to respond to panic and immediate action. While the world’s response has been strong, environmentalists and climate scientists do not believe that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is moving far too slowly. [37]

The global efforts and concerns of both governments and individuals to take action towards a renewable energy source. This potential is seen in the countless renewable energy projects under way. Currently, there are over 4,000 major solar projects being implemented. [38] These goals and long-term economic benefits. [39]

The Global Apollo Program , set up by the economists and scientists, has a goal of creating a solar capacity that can stand up to a cheaper alternative to coal-fueled power plants by 2025. [40] In capitalist markets , solar energy has the very real potential of becoming a competitor to coal plants in less than a decade.

See also

  • Blue-green alliance
  • Business model
  • Climate justice
  • Ecotax
  • Ecological economics
  • Eco-socialism
  • Enviro-Capitalists: Doing Good While Doing Well
  • Environmental economics
  • Ethical consumerism
  • Free-market environmentalism
  • Geolibertarianism
  • Georgism
  • Green economy
  • Green growth
  • Green libertarianism
  • Natural Capitalism
  • Natural resource economics
  • Pigovian tax
  • Sustainable business
  • Tax shift
  • Tragedy of the anticommons
  • Tragedy of the commons
  • Pink capitalism


  1. Jump up^ “Definition of Eco-Capitalism” . collinsdictionary.com . Retrieved 27 November 2015 .
  2. Jump up^ “The rise of green capitalism” . roadtoparis.info . Retrieved 27 November2015 .
  3. Jump up^ Hardin, Garrett (1968-12-13). “The Tragedy of the Commons” . Science . 162 (3859): 1243-1248. Bibcode : 1968Sci … 162.1243H . ISSN  0036-8075 . PMID  17756331 . doi : 10.1126 / science.162.3859.1243 .
  4. Jump up^ “PERC’s Mission & Vision | PERC – The Property and Environment Research Center” . www.perc.org . Retrieved 2017-03-02 .
  5. Jump up^ Conniff, Richard (August 2009). “The Political History of Cap and Trade”. Smithsonian . Retrieved 2017-03-02 .
  6. Jump up^ “The Kyoto Protocol :: History” . www.mtholyoke.edu . Retrieved 2017-03-02 .
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  8. Jump up^ “Bruce Yandle” . Mercatus Center . 2008-08-15 . Retrieved 2017-03-03 .
  9. Jump up^ Bruce Yandle
  10. Jump up^ Terry L. Anderson
  11. Jump up^http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy4.library.arizona.edu/record=b3486558
  12. Jump up^http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy4.library.arizona.edu/record=b4002258
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  14. ^ Jump up to:b “paul hawken” . www.paulhawken.com . Retrieved 2017-03-01 .
  15. Jump up^ Hawken, Paul ,; Lovins, Amory; Lovins, Hunter (1999). Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution .
  16. ^ Jump up to:b “Earth Policy Institute – Building a Sustainable Future | Home” . www.earth-policy.org . Retrieved 2017-03-01 .
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  19. ^ Jump up to:d Smith, Richard (2015). Green Capitalism: the god that failed . World Economics Association. pp. 55-61. ISBN  978-1-911156-22-2 .
  20. Jump up^ Bailey, Ian (2007). “Neoliberalism, climate governance and the scalar politics of EU emissions trading”. Royal Geographical Society . 39 (4): 431-442. doi : 10.1111 / j.1475-4762.2007.00770.x .
  21. Jump up^ Prudham, Scott (2009). “Pimping climate change: Richard Branson, global warming, and the performance of green capitalism”. Environment and Planning . 41 (7): 1594-1613. doi : 10.1068 / a4071 .
  22. Jump up^ Griffiths, MR; Lucas, JR (November 16, 2016). Value economics: the ethical implications of value for new economic thinking . Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN  9781137541864 .
  23. Jump up^ Talberth, John; Cobb, Clifford; Slattery, Noah (2006). “The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006: A Tool for Sustainable Development”. Redefining Progress .
  24. Jump up^ Meltzher, Alan H. “Why Capitalism?” (PDF) . Carnegie Mellon University and American Enterprise Institute : 1.
  25. Jump up^ Juniper, Tony. “Capitalism v environment: can greed ever be green?” . theguardian.com . Retrieved 27 November 2015 .
  26. Jump up^ http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/
  27. Jump up^ “The Myths of” Green Capitalism “, by <a href =” . newpol.org . Retrieved 2017-02-26 .
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  29. Jump up^ Tanuro, Daniel (2013). Green Capitalism: Why it Can not Work . Merlin Press. ISBN  9781552666685 .
  30. Jump up^ Maria, Graças e SilvaI; et al. (2012). “Conscious consumption”: ecocapitalism as ideology . Rev. Katalysis. 15; 1.
  31. Jump up^ “We Need to Literally Declare War on Climate Change” . New Republic . 2016-08-15 . Retrieved 2017-03-01 .
  32. Jump up^ “Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change'” . www.counterpunch.org . 2016-08-22 . Retrieved 2017-03-01 .
  33. ^ Jump up to:b “Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels” . Bloomberg.com . 2016-04-06 . Retrieved 2017-02-26 .
  34. Jump up^ “Fossil fuels are dead – the rest is just detail” . www.carbontracker.org . Retrieved 2017-02-26 .
  35. Jump up^ ” ” Green “Capitalism builds Big Solar: Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater?” . CNS web . 2016-04-10 . Retrieved 2017-02-26 .
  36. Jump up^ “Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels” . Bloomberg.com . 2016-04-06 . Retrieved 2017-02-28 .
  37. Jump up^ ” ” Green “Capitalism builds Big Solar: Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater?” . CNS web . 2016-04-10 . Retrieved 2017-02-28 .
  38. Jump up^ “Major Solar Projects List” . SEIA . Retrieved 2017-02-28 .
  39. Jump up^ “Benefits of Renewable Energy Use” . Union of Concerned Scientists . Retrieved 2017-02-28 .
  40. Jump up^ “How renewable energy can become competitive” . The Economist . Retrieved 2017-02-28 .

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