A Global Economy that Works for People and the Planet: Green Growth or Post-Growth?
12 September 2022
This workshop report explores different perspectives on the role of economic growth in supporting socially and environmentally sustainable societies.
Economic systems are embedded in – and fundamentally dependent on – nature. A key implication is that there are hard limits or boundaries for the kind of economic activities the planet can sustainably support. Our future economies must respect these environmental constraints while also providing minimum standards for social wellbeing. However, opinions differ on the direction of change required, including the question of whether economic output, commonly measured as gross domestic product (GDP), can and should continue to grow within the boundaries of finite natural systems.
This paper maps, in broad strokes, the debates surrounding the role of economic growth in supporting socially and environmentally sustainable societies, considering both ‘green growth’ and ‘post-growth’ perspectives. It draws upon an interdisciplinary expert workshop on the same topic, hosted virtually in June 2022 by researchers from the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) and the UCL Global Governance Institute (GGI), with support from UCL Grand Challenges. This report aims to explore not only key differences between green growth and post-growth perspectives; but also potential areas of agreement and pragmatic engagement, especially when it comes to concrete policy pathways.
The full report is available here: A Global Economy that Works for People and the Planet: Green Growth or Post-Growth? [PDF]