Green economy and the ‘growth fetish’: what are the alternatives?

Guest blog by Kathleen McAfee (San Francisco State University)

Many advocates of ‘green economy’ thinking endorse carbon-offset trading and other markets in nature both to foster conservation and to stimulate economic growth. Some green economists, sensitive to ‘underdevelopment’ and the asymmetric causes and effects of climate change, emphasize the environmental costs of poverty and inequality but are no less wedded to the goal of growth.

Why this fixation on growth? Are there alternatives?

Growth is a core requirement in conventional green economics because sustainability would otherwise entail the sacrifice of ‘development’ and because growth is the context in which private investments in greening can be profitable.

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