Do You Have To Be Rich To Be Green? The preliminary outcomes!

So, our second preparatory event is over, but thanks to everyone who attended for a lively and informative debate.  As with the first event, we’re still working on pulling together all of your discussions and will have something available as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here are the initial findings and those issues which were chosen to be taken forward to the main event in December.

We expect that all of these issues will end up forming part of the discussion at the main symposium, but the three most popular issues will be used by our students in their preparation for event as topic headings.

So, here goes:

Chosen issues (in order of popularity on the day)

  1. Societal Change (developed world and developing world). Motivation for change vs pull of emotional ties to existing lifestyles
  2. International Cooperation. Better regulation, better equality on standard of living, need to repatriate unsustainable activities and practices
  3. Economy: Is our economy too financially-based? What about ecosystems, culture and society? What value should be put on non-financial resources?

Other issues identified but not chosen (many of which are related to, or are contributory factors to, the chosen issues). These are in rough order of popularity.

  • It is not sustainable for all countries to develop in the same way that some countries already have. Do we need new models of development?
  • We need to address basic human needs before we even think of putting ‘green’ on the agenda
  • Which is more effective – incentives or regulation?
  • The need to recognise the different capabilities of countries
  • Who has responsibility for change? The media? Government? The population?
  • Efficient technology – is it enough? What about lifestyle changes?

What do you think? Were you at the event? Is this a fair reflection of the discussions?  Have we missed anything out?

If you weren’t at the event, what else would you have raised if you had been there?

Let us know by leaving a comment underneath this posting.

And don’t forget, you still have until 23 November to register for preparatory event 3, and until 7 December to register for the main event. Details of the events, and links to the booking forms, can be found at

We’ll be posting preliminary outcomes from preparatory event 3 shortly after the event, and fuller results from each event as soon as we can.

Anne Buckle
Communications Administrator
Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability

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