Tuesday, 29 June 2021
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Hi All

Earlier this year, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a "narrative" advocating economic degrowth. It is encouraging to see the EEA taking this stance. Hopefully, we see it reflected in EU policy.

Growth without economic growth

Economic growth is closely linked to increases in production, consumption and resource use and has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health. It is unlikely that a long-lasting, absolute decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures and impacts can be achieved at the global scale; therefore, societies need to rethink what is meant by growth and progress and their meaning for global sustainability.

Key messages

  • The ongoing ‘Great Acceleration’ in loss of biodiversity, climate change, pollution and loss of natural capital is tightly coupled to economic activities and economic growth.
  • Full decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption may not be possible.
  • Doughnut economics, post-growth and degrowth are alternatives to mainstream conceptions of economic growth that offer valuable insights.
  • The European Green Deal and other political initiatives for a sustainable future require not only technological change but also changes in consumption and social practices.
  • Growth is culturally, politically and institutionally ingrained. Change requires us to address these barriers democratically.
  • The various communities that live simply offer inspiration for social innovation.

Read more here:

1 year ago
Life without growth. Is it possible? From where I sit in Africa,, growth will happen. Transition will occur. The population will grow 3 to 5% annually for the next 30 years, adding another billion people. Food production must grow accordingly. Eighty percent of food producers are subsistence farmers. Cities are becoming more crowded, more polluted, with more fossil-fueled cars bought used and shipped from markets in China and Europe. Signs of growth are everywhere. Same I suspect with India. If half the world grows, life without growth doesn't seem possible nor realistic. No talk of widespread carbon controls in these growth markets. Amazon, FEDEX, and DHL are bustling, using planes to deliver worldwide. Living simply to simply I've is a great slogan in theory. Much more challenging to implement.
1 year ago
Growth as an deeply entrenched worldview.
Donella Meadows in an article on managing systemic leverage points, argued that shifting paradigms is the best but most challenging leverage point to adjust. You speak of zero growth while every corporation is transfixed on Growth. Take Nike's growth as one example.


A case of entrenched paradigms or voodo economics?
1 year ago
We need degrowth in developed countries because this is where most consumption happens. Some growth will remain necessary in low-income countries to lift people out of poverty and to finance infrastructure. Poverty reduction also has the benefit of reducing population growth.
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