Produce more while reducing environmental degradation: such is the perspective embodied by the concept of decoupling. At a time when the environmental crisis is worsening and economic growth is lacking, this concept accompanies the hope of a "green growth". A growth that would combine a return to full employment, an increase in purchasing power and provide answers to environmental challenges.
The problem is that this miracle, as explained by the authors, has yet to be produced anywhere to date. What’s more, studying what drove past growth, one sees that it was closely dependent on abundant and cheap energy.
If we want to avoid a sudden economic downturn imposed by resource shortages or ecosystem degradation – that would cause mass unemployment, rising inequalities and threaten peace and democracy – we must urgently implement a new economic and social model. One that is more efficient and economical in energy and materials.
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