Green Economy Guidebook Series from the UN

Ethical Markets - RGreen Prosperity, Reforming Global Finance


The Division for Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has published a series of guidebooks to the green economy following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). They can be found at:

These guidebooks provide practitioners and other stakeholders with concise resource guides to the green economy and related concepts such as green growth and low carbon development.

The first three publications in the series cover green economy history, definitions and a guide to recent publications; green economy principles; and green economy policies and experience with national strategies.

Issue 1 provides a guide to the history and emerging definitions of green economy and related concepts such as green growth and low carbon development. It also includes a concise guide to approximately 90 recent green economy publications including reports, policy papers, toolkits and national strategies.

Issue 2 further explores the green economy concept by moving beyond the simple definitions and providing a brief overview of recent attempts at defining sets of green economy principles. In doing so, it aims to outline some principles that can be used to guide interpretation and application of the concept, as well as to identify some key areas where the green economy might be expected to deliver added value within the broader context of sustainable development.

Issue 3 aims to explore the range of policy measures that have been proposed under the ‘green economy’ label by experts and practitioners as well as by several governments in recent national planning documents. Through this review, a ‘typology’ of green economy policies is developed and used to identify the most common policy measures that are being proposed by experts and adopted by governments. It also provides a guide to some recent elaborations of a green economy policy ‘toolkit’.