RSS | Jeroen van den Bergh “Climate and Limits to Growth”

18 May, 2016 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Jeroen van den Bergh
London School of Economics, Tower 2, Room 9.04

Jeroen van den Bergh, ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), will be the speaker at this event. Jeroen will present his upcoming paper entitled “Climate and Limits to Growth”. The abstract from the paper is below:

The old limits-to-growth debate is connected to climate change. One reason why climate change is not easily tackled is that many citizens, scientists and politicians fear that the measures necessary to achieve this will harm economic growth. Some have concluded that a zero or even negative growth strategy is required. On the other end of the spectrum are optimists who believe that “green growth” is feasible during, and after, a transition to a low-carbon economy. These represent the extreme positions in the growth-versus-environment debate as revived by the climate challenge. One may expect this debate to endure and even intensify in the coming years as the time window to limit global warming to 2°C closes. I critically reflects upon both categorical pro- and anti-growth positions from a conceptual angle. Next, I provide a brief review of the diverse theoretical and empirical literatures on growth-versus-climate. I conclude that while the evidence for either position is ambiguous it tends to favour a pessimistic viewpoint. Attention is drawn to a third, neutral and arguably precautionary, position. This is reasoned to have the potential to weaken polarization in the debate as well as reduce resistance against stringent climate policies. The neutral position is elaborated using a theoretical graphical framework, and is applied to the context of climate change policy. The seminar concludes with recommendations for practical steps.

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