The multi-dimensional nature of the current global crisis requires a holistic approach in addressing economic, social and ecological problems. Following the crisis, several organizations started to publish reports on a concept called Green New Deal (GND) with reference to the New Deal policies of the 1930s in the USA. Since then, the concept has gained increasing popularity among the public. On the other hand, it fuelled a heated discussion between its supporters and ecosocialists. The aim of this paper is to highlight the points at which GND supporters and ecosocialists converge and diverge, and discuss critically the transformative capacity of different GND proposals. We conclude that GND policies can help to set the stage for the transformation long sought by the ecosocialist agenda, and hence from this perspective, these two approaches can be seen as complementary rather than substitutes. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.