Annual report 2009/10

As the world has stepped away from financial collapse and recession, we’ve moved onto the threshold of something new.

Doorway to a green economy: IIED annual report 2009/10

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The massive global response to economic emergency was aimed largely at regaining the questionable footing we had before the crash. Yet it also included a choreographed wave of ‘green stimulus’ – at a level of funding that dwarfed all previous efforts to shift economies towards sustainability. Why was this? People in high places recognise that the shocks rocking the globe in the last two years are congruent – that the financial system’s heart attack, the food price rollercoaster and the disasters looming with climate change all came about through obsession with short-term gain.

Debate on how to spend these stimulus funds highlighted dozens of green initiatives, ranging in scope from local to global. And it helped to expose the outlines of an economic system that respects people and planet, and that doesn’t sell out the future to pay for the present: what many are now calling a green economy. It’s not just think tanks and NGOs that are moving in this direction. The international establishment – the UN, the OECD and G20 countries – have all taken prominent steps into the green economy’s doorway. More recently, governments have begun to replace their stimulus plans with sharp spending cuts – a further opportunity to hold short- and long-term priorities up to the light. But there’s also a danger that these shifts in spending will bring no good to the world’s poorest countries and people.

For IIED, this is an opening to bring long-simmering ideas before a global audience hungry for new ways forward on environment and development – and to channel the growing momentum through our network of partnerships and influence. It is also potentially a major movement, requiring many parties. So IIED has joined with development and environment organisations, trade unions, business groups and UN institutions, forming a new Green Economy Coalition.

One of the Coalition’s first tasks is to help uncover the barriers and entry points to the green economy in poor countries. In the next year, we hope to illuminate what lies beyond the threshold.
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For more about the projects outlined in the report, links to background material, longer treatments and contacts please see the following pages.




IIED Institutional Strategy 2009-14


Green economy website:


IIED publication: Responsible Contracting Chains in the Russian Oil and Gas Industry

IIED publication: Agents of Change: Reflections on a Working Partnership between IIED and BP in Azerbaijan


Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS)


Sage Journals Online: Environment and Urbanization


IIED papers on natural resource management: Gatekeeper series


A vision of urban planning that could positively transform the way cities grow across the developing world:


Website of the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group:


Raita Teerpu (‘the Farmer's verdict’) application of citizens’ jury / scenario workshop methods:


Democratising agricultural research


IIED publication: The Challenges of Environmental Mainstreaming


Environmental Mainstreaming: Environment Inside


PLA 60, Community-based adaptation to climate change

PLA 59, Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development

PLA 57, Immersions: learning about poverty face to face


IIED Briefings and opinion papers