Economic Growth Is Incompatible with Rapid Decarbonization

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

In the article "Is Green Growth Possible?" authors Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis find that "absolute decoupling from carbon emissions is highly unlikely to be achieved at a rate rapid enough to prevent global warming over 1.5°C or 2°C, even under optimistic policy conditions"

The City of Miami who according to its own Climate Emergency Resolution " wishes to act as a global leader by both converting to an ecologically, socially, and economically regenerative economy at emergency speed"should take this knowledge into account.

Alternative economic development models exist and are already being implemented, such as the Doughnut Model ( https://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/ ) being implemented in Amsterdam. In this model ensures that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend.


Is Green Growth Possible?

Jason Hickel &Giorgos Kallis


The notion of green growth has emerged as a dominant policy response to climate change and ecological breakdown. Green growth theory asserts that continued economic expansion is compatible with our planet’s ecology, as technological change and substitution will allow us to absolutely decouple GDP growth from resource use and carbon emissions. This claim is now assumed in national and international policy, including in the Sustainable Development Goals. But empirical evidence on resource use and carbon emissions does not support green growth theory. Examining relevant studies on historical trends and model-based projections, we find that: (1) there is no empirical evidence that absolute decoupling from resource use can be achieved on a global scale against a background of continued economic growth, and (2) absolute decoupling from carbon emissions is highly unlikely to be achieved at a rate rapid enough to prevent global warming over 1.5°C or 2°C, even under optimistic policy conditions. We conclude that green growth is likely to be a misguided objective, and that policymakers need to look toward alternative strategies.


See the whole article here

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13563467.2019.1598964

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