Growth isn’t Possible

Four years on from nef's Growth isn’t Working, this new report goes one step further and tests that thesis in detail in the context of climate change and energy. It argues that indefinite global economic growth is unsustainable. Just as the laws of thermodynamics constrain the maximum efficiency of a heat engine, economic growth is constrained by the finite nature of our planet’s natural resources (biocapacity).

January 25, 2010 // Written by:

Victoria Johnson,Andrew Simms,Peter Chowla

As economist Herman Daly once commented, he would accept the possibility of infinite growth in the economy on the day that one of his economist colleagues could demonstrate that Earth itself could grow at a commensurate rate.

Whether or not the stumbling international negotiations on climate change improve, our findings make clear that much more will be needed than simply more ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This report concludes that a new macro economic model is needed, one that allows the human population as a whole to thrive without having to relying on ultimately impossible, endless increases in consumption.

Issues

Energy & Climate Change, Well-being

Like what you read? Don’t let your friends miss out!

Close

Download free PDF

nef publications are licensed under a Creative Commons license. You are free to quote, copy and share this publication, as long as you attribute it to nef and do not use it for commerical purposes. Please contact us if you are interested in translating a nef publication.

comments powered by Disqus

More Publications

Publication // September 11, 2014

Financial system impact of disruptive innovation

Working paper for the United Nations Environment Programme inquiry

More

Publication // September 10, 2014

Wellbeing in four policy areas

Report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics

More