Degrowth: What On Earth Is That?


In the few weeks since cinema audiences in the UK and Ireland were asked to digest the extreme lessons of anewly released eco-thriller How to blow up a pipeline, Europe’s great and good finally appear ready to engage with something ideologically dramatic on decarbonisation.

Last month, European parliamentarians organised a conference titled Beyond Growth, which was addressed by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, several of her commissioners and top civil servants, European parliament president Roberta Metsola and Frank Elderson of the European Central Bank’s executive board. It represented the slow mainstreaming of the deeply controversial idea of ‘degrowth’, long a dirty word for green capitalism, which wants a colour revolution – by turning growth green – rather than real, if painful change.

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