chapter  10
19 Pages

The illusion of green capitalism

WithPetter Næss

This chapter contends that the ideas of green growth and green capitalism are illusory. It describes the main theoretical arguments in favor of the possibility of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation will be reiterated, and some strategies for decoupling. The chapter explores that the scope for decoupling growth in production and consumption from environmental degradation is limited, and that the decoupling strategy is unable to keep up with unlimited growth. The content of growth with the parallel discourse on ecological modernization, the Brundtland Commission pointed at eco-efficiency and substitution as the ways to decouple economic growth from negative environmental impacts. The chapter discusses exponential growth, economic growth and decoupling growth rates would cause serious difficulties in a capitalist economy. Typical for neoclassical environmental economics are fragmented analyses, where both the environmental impacts and their causes are looked at in separation from their environmental and social context.