An ever-expanding economy might sound like a good idea, especially for the purpose of poverty alleviation. The planet, however, cannot support unlimited growth, especially growth that is not compatible with the flourishing of life. It’s not just a question of carbon emissions and climate change. There simply aren’t enough resources or ecological space available for boundless growth. Expanding the economy without constraint hits up against the limits of conventional and “renewable” energy sources. In any case, a growth-based model of ‘development’ has also seriously exacerbated inequalities, and hardly addressed issues of deprivation from basic needs for the most marginalized sections.
So, how can we change the economy at a local, national, and global level to work within the limits of planetary boundaries and human decency while at the same time addressing the huge wealth gap within and between countries, and avoiding continued or new deprivations? For the answers to those questions and others, we turn to: