Version 3.2

Towards post-growth scenarios for climate mitigation

Existing climate mitigation scenarios assume future rates of economic growth that are significantly higher than what has been experienced in the recent past. In this article we explore how assuming lower rates of growth, in line with the hypothesis of secular stagnation, changes the range of mitigation possibilities. We compare scenarios with moderate and strong policy ambition under both high-growth and low-growth assumptions. The results show that low growth makes it easier to reduce emissions consistent with 1.5–2°C, reducing the need to rely on assumptions about unrealistically rapid buildout of low-carbon energy infrastructure and unprecedented rates of energy–GDP decoupling, which characterise existing scenarios. However, lower growth raises concerns about equity between and within countries, social stability, and ability to finance the low-carbon energy transition. With this in mind, we distinguish between inequitable low-growth scenarios and equitable ‘post-growth’ scenarios, identifying policies that could be used to achieve the latter.


Day: 2023-08-30
Start time: 12:15
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-9
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Hegemonic worldviews and degrowth horizon


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