chapter  2
The potential conflict between ecological sustainability and full employment
ByPHILIP LAWN
Pages 71

As previously indicated, the aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that a conflict currently exists between the goals of ecological sustainability and full employment. To achieve this aim, two conditions need to be established. Firstly, it must be shown that the continued growth in real GDP – and of the economy generally1 – is both economically undesirable and ecologically unsustainable. Once this condition has been established, it follows that any nation which has reached or surpassed its limits to growth will be greatly constrained in its capacity to increase employment levels to the extent required to reach and maintain full employment. Secondly, since there are some observers who recognise limits to growth but believe that full employment can be comfortably achieved by altering the mix of jobs within a sustainable economy, it needs to be demonstrated that these observers overestimate the capacity of a sustainable economy to generate enough jobs to achieve full employment.