Green liberalism

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Green liberalism or liberal environmentalism[1] is a term used to refer to liberals who have incorporated green concerns into their ideology. They are usually liberal on social issues and green on economic issues.[1]


Green liberalism values the Earth very highly, and this philosophy highly values the planet being passed down to the next generation unharmed.[2] Green liberalism accepts that the natural world is a system in a state of flux, and does not seek to conserve the natural world as it is. However, it does seek to minimize the damage done by the human species on the natural world, and to aid the regeneration of damaged areas.

In economic issues, green liberals take a position somewhere between classical liberalism (on the center/center-right) and social liberalism (on the center/center-left): they may favor slightly less government involvement than social liberals, but far more than classical liberals. Some within the circle of green liberals practice free-market environmentalism and thus, sharing similarity with rightist classical liberalism or libertarianism. This is one of a few reasons why a blue-green alliance is possible in politics.

The historian Conrad Russell, a British Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, dedicated a chapter of his book The Intelligent Person's Guide to Liberalism to the subject of green liberalism. The term "green liberalism" was coined, however, by political philosopher Marcel Wissenburg in - among others - his 1998 book Green Liberalism: The free and the green society.

The Liberal Party of Canada under Stéphane Dion placed the environment at the front of its political agenda, proposing an ecotax and tax shift it called the Green Shift. Similarly, the Liberal Democrats (UK) have drawn on the same concept to propose a "Green Tax Switch".[3]

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Book Details: The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism". Columbia University Press. Retrieved 4 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. How to be a Green Liberal, (Book synopsis), Author: Simon Hailwood, 2004. (Retrieved August 21, 2008.)

External links