Grow First, Clean Up Later? Dropping Old Paradigms and Opening Up New Horizons of Sustainable Development

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After almost two decades of continuous development in bio, circular, and green economy, it is time to assess the major achievements and challenges that private and public enterprises face today for further enhancing global sustainability concepts. To this end, the present thematic issue accommodates twenty articles on different topics related to circular economy development and green growth, proposing a contribution to the field of environmental economics and policy. The central feature of this Special Issue is the focus on the best practices and challenges in terms of green growth and eco-innovation in developing and transitioning structurally challenged areas. Hence, the study elaborates on the pathways of bio, circular, and green growth and eco-innovation in the context of countries with relatively low per capita income. By doing this, the collection shows that the empirically established environmental Kuznets curve—i.e., the inverted U-shaped income-environment nexus—can and must be critically questioned, at least in the contexts mentioned within the framework of our Special Issue. Hence, the geographic frontiers of environmental upgrading, carbon-saving bioeconomic development, and green growth are not limited to the economically advanced areas.

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Sustainability (Switzerland)



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