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Can growth be green?

Gough, Ian (2015) Can growth be green? International Journal of Health Services, 45 (3). pp. 443-452. ISSN 0020-7314

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0020731415584555

Abstract

This short article, based on a presentation at the London School of Economics, criticizes the common opinion that “green growth” offers a relatively painless – some even say pain-free – transition path for capitalist economies. After a brief summary of the daunting arithmetic entailed in combining fast decarbonization with continuing growth, the article advances 3 propositions. First, market-based carbon mitigation programs, such as carbon trading, cannot be sufficient and must be coupled with other policy pillars that foster transformative investment and widespread regulation. Second, a political economy of climate policy needs to draw on the lessons of comparative social policy research, which emphasizes the role of international pressures, interests, institutions, and ideas. Taking these into account gives a more realistic perspective on climate policy making in today’s neoliberal world. Third, more radical policies on both consumption and production are called for, to ensure that carbon mitigation is not pursued at the expense of equity and social welfare. These include policies to restrain high-carbon luxury consumption and a transition toward shorter paid working time. The conclusion is that a realistic program of green growth will be immensely difficult and entail radical political change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://joh.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 13:21
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 02:02
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/63781

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