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Sustainability in the private sector is closely allied to green growth. But is the notion that growth can go green just another chapter in Greta Thunberg’s fairy tales of eternal economic growth? Or is it the manual we must follow to build a livable planet and functioning economy?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development positions green growth as “fostering economic growth, while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and services on which our well-being relies.” Public perceptions aside, science deals not with proof but with evidence. As such, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been as unequivocal as it can be about the targets we have to hit to stay within the planetary boundaries that house our intertwined relationship with those “assets and services.”
Unfortunately, we’re crossing the thresholds within which humanity can continue to develop, thrive and survive considerably faster than we’re decoupling economic growth from ecological damage. It’s a hard case to make that we’ve delivered on matching green with growth.
My Economist subscription is no stand-in for an economics degree, but I’d like to take a quick look at green growth — what it’s built on, what it has, or has not, afforded us and whether we should shift the window of discourse to get a better view on where growth meets green.