Jakob, M., Lamb, W., Steckel, J., Flachsland, C., Edenhofer, O.

Understanding different perspectives on economic growth and climate policy

in WIREs Climate Change, 27.08.2020

Peer Review , Applied Sustainability Sciences , Climate and Development , Directorate

Should economic growth continue in a world threatened by the prospect of catastrophic climate change? The scientific and public debate has brought forth a broad spectrum of views and narratives on this question, ranging from neoclassical economics to degrowth. We argue that different positions can be attributed to underlying differences in views on (a) factors that determine human well‐being, (b) the feasibility and desirability of economic growth, (c) appropriate intervention points, and (d) preferences about governance and policy options. For each of these dimensions, we propose points of agreement on which a consensus between conflicting positions might be achieved. From this basis, we distill a sustainability transition perspective that could act as a basis for a renewed debate on how to align human well‐being with environmental sustainability.