INTRODUCTION: This editorial aims to introduce the papers of this special dossier and critically reflect on the connection between the ongoing financial crisis and crises in the sphere of environment and development. The environmental crisis relates to the interconnected global crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, forest loss, and so forth (Heynen et al. 2007; CBD 2010). The development crisis is one of global inequality or the further accretion and concentration of wealth in fewer hands while large pockets of poverty remain or become entrenched across the developed and developing world (Edward 2006; Harvey 2010; Saith 2011). Both, we argue, are inherent to contemporary capitalism, but have not received the type of concentrated political and economic investment of capital that we have observed during the financial crisis.