Mounting evidence suggests that GDP growth is damaging the natural environment and unlikely to be ecologically sustainable in the long-run. At the same time, an annual GDP growth rate of around three percent is regarded as the minimum necessary to prevent unemployment from escalating. Clearly, a trade-off exists between environmental goals and employment goals, yet this trade-off has been largely ignored or denied.
This book aims to resolve the environment-employment dilemma by suggesting ways and means to achieve low rates of unemployment, or preferably full employment, in the context of a low-growth or steady-state economy. In search of a solution to this dilemma, this book seeks to answer the following questions:
- What existing paradigms offer a possible foundation for further investigation into issues dealing with both the environment and employment?
- What specific initiatives can be implemented to deal with unemployment given that any potential solution must be consistent with responsible macroeconomic policy?
- To what extent can ecological tax reform provide a solution to the environment-employment dilemma?
- Under what circumstances is it clear that certain forms of employment generation are antithetic to the goal of ecological sustainability?
- How can more favourable employment-generating opportunities be exploited in ways which lower unemployment or achieve full employment without the need for ecologically-destructive GDP growth?
This book will no doubt stimulate a broader discussion on the issue, and it may just begin a process that leads to the eventual emergence of a viable policy strategy to generate a sustainable, full employment future. This book will be of interest to decision-makers, civil servants, researchers, and NGO employees as well as students of environmental and ecological economics and issues related to employment and unemployment.