Students and faculty gathered together on 14 December to hear from Tim Foxon, Professor of Sustainability Transitions at SPRU and CIED, whose new book ‘Energy and Economic Growth: Why we need a new pathway to prosperity’ explores an important question: Do we need to move beyond an economic system predicated on growth to achieve a sustainable future? The book presents a historical perspective of the role of energy in driving economic growth. It grapples with the question of whether we need radical change to our economic system to create a sustainable future or whether investment in renewables will drive a new phase of “green growth”. The discussions at the event clearly demonstrated how divided the sustainability community is over answering this question. While everyone agreed that we need a positive approach, some were arguing for more radical changes to deal with the magnitude of the problem. Prof Foxon pointed out that the only politically feasible strategy at the moment is focusing on “green growth”, but we should at the same time be developing ideas for a “post-growth” economy. ‘Without growth, we are not going to improve the lives of the great majority, but we need to redefine what we mean by growth’- said Carlota Perez.
SPRU 19th Dec 2017 read more »