NGO Major Group - the European Environmental Bureau

EEB Annual meeting
1rst of October 2012
Sustained growth,
Green Growth, degrowth, .. The way
Leida Rijnhout
Executive Director ANPED
Fair and sustainable economy !
Quality of life
Carrying capacity
Based on Carley and Spapens
Global Economy ?
Over- and underconsumption – no justice !
Myth of “Green Economy”
A Green Economy is a big step forward, but will
not solve on her own problems of inequity in
incomes, access to resources and quality of life,
nor tackle pollution from existing industry and
environmental degradation.
Promoting Green Growth is not the same as
“changing our economy” towards Sustainable
!!!! But the Rio outcome
phrases it even worse:
Sustained Growth –
which is incompatible
with Sustainable
Planetary boundaries: Development
within limits
Sustainable development ?
Or recognition of limits !
Is Growth always positive ?
The EU Lisbon Strategy proposes
3% GDP growth per year.
Is this sustainable ?
Imagine: if this little hamster of
100 grams grows continuously
with 3%.. How much do you think
it weights after 1 year ?
It will be a monster !
It will be a green monster:
And when it is green growth ? ?
4.307 kilos !!
Unproductive Growth
The economist Herman Daly calculated that after a
certain point of economic growth it will be unproductive:
your growth will cause so much damage that your profit is
below zero.
(unequal) growth :
and (unequal) consequences
Use of natural resources pp
Contraction and Convergence
Former Eastern
European countries
Industrial countries
Ceiling (= overconsumption)
Environmental Space
Floor (= dignity life line)
Developing countries
Level of welfare
Based on Rochol
More Growth strategies ?
- Our global economy is already going far beyond the
limits of the carrying capacity of the planet.
- Environmental problems are caused mostly because of
this. Some social ones too.
- We are using too much of our natural capital, and any
businessman knows: if you start eating your capital:
bankruptcy will soon follow....
- There is an urgent need to cut
down the use of natural
resources in absolute amounts.
-Technical solutions (ecoefficiency) will not be enough..
=> sufficiency
The way forward
3) Recognise limits of
environmental (and social)
capital -> future scenarios on
what we have, not on what
we want
1) Making the current
economy “sustainable” (green
+ fair) is first step, not only by
promoting green
consumerism, but focus also
4) Build finance mechanism for
on phasing out the
unsustainable production. social security and other public
needs independent of GDP
growth. (is Post-growth debate)
2) Stop focusing
on GDP-growth,
5) Redistribution of wealth
but put well being
and sufficiency strategies.
at the heart of all
Capping the economy –
Social innovation too !!
Enable the context for real changes:
- Dismantling the culture of consumerism, instead of
promoting (green) consumerism => sharing instead of
- Sharing available work (25h workweek)
- Urban planning which enables sustainable transport,
local shops and food production, open spaces, .. (local
agenda 21)
-Enable real civil participation (not consultation after the
decisions are made.. :-)
- Put human values at the heart of every policy
Show leadership and design long term visions, go
beyond single and end-of-pipe solutions
Thanks !!