In a recently published article, Bina and La Camera (2011) analyse the various international strategies as responses to the financial and climate change ?double crisis?. They show that while the rhetoric embraces terms like ?green economy?, ?green growth?, ?sustainable development?, or ?green new deal? the underlying assumption of economic theory remain standard neoclassical and Keynesian economics. Luks (1998 ) already highlighted the importance of rhetorics as part of the scientific endeavor. In the case of the Green Economy and its conceptual sisters, it seems that rhetorics do play a more important role than conceptual novelty. Increasing ecological, but also economic and social, disruptions result primarily from human action. Especially with regard to biodiversity conservation, ?appropriate solutions need to involve partnerships, not only between ecologists and economists, but also from a broad range of disciplines? (Dasgupta et al. 2000). The aim of the discipline of ecological economics is to bridge this gap as to create partnerships for sustainable development. For societal transitions towards human development and ecological integrity, three conceptual shifts in economics are necessary: heterodox approaches; qualitative research; and considerations for justice (inter- and intra-generational). Both Ecological and Evolutionary economics respond to each of these criteria and are thus apt tools for exploring transdisciplinary conversations between ecology and economics. Past conversations between ecologists and economics have led often to a shift towards market-based instruments and commodification of ecosystem functions leaving out the ecological discourse in biodiversity policy (Spash, ESEE 2011). As one instrument of policies for sustainable development, the concept of payments for ecosystem services (PES) has recently become more and more prominent. In this respect, PES is often put forward as a policy instrument that achieves the shift towards a green economy. Yet, different schools of thought in respect to PES exist according to Tacconi (in press): the environmental economics school, the ecological economics school and those rejecting the PES mechanism. The paper therefore analyses the role of PES in respect to the green economy debate. To what extent the instrument of payments for ecosystem services allows for transdisciplinary conversations between economics and ecology? The paper addresses the economic component of sustainable development and its relation to the environment and society. Key question is: how to change the way economies work in order to implement sustainable development and are PES schemes appropriate instruments? Or: are PES apt instruments so that ecological and economic modalities of time and space (Altvater, 1994) are in harmony?
Author(s): Moritz C. Remig