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SDC: Prosperity Without Growth

Here are a few extracts from the new SDC ground braking report:

'Prosperity Without Growth?' says that the current global recession should be the occasion to forge a new economic system equipped to avoid the shocks and negative impacts associated with our reliance on growth. The report calls on leaders to adopt a 12-step plan to make the transition to a fair, sustainable, low-carbon economy.

For the last five decades the pursuit of growth has been the single most important policy goal across the world. The global economy is almost five times the size it was half a century ago. If it continues to grow at the same rate the economy will be 80 times that size by the year 2100.

Our society is faced with a profound dilemma. To resist growth is to risk economic and social collapse. To pursue it is to endanger the ecosystems on which we depend for long-term survival.

This delusional strategy has reached its limits. We stand in urgent need of a clearer vision, more honest policy-making, something more robust in the way of a strategy with which to confront the dilemma of growth.

The current economic crisis presents a unique opportunity to invest in change. To sweep away the short-term thinking that has plagued society for decades. To replace it with considered policy-making capable of addressing the enormous challenge of delivering a lasting prosperity.

A macro-economy predicated on continual expansion of debt-driven materialistic consumption is unsustainable ecologically, problematic socially, and unstable economically (Chapters 2, 5, 6). The time is now ripe to develop a new macro-economics for sustainability (Chapters 7 & 8) that does not rely for its stability on relentless growth and expanding material throughput.

In summary, these 12 steps offer the foundations for a comprehensive policy programme to make the transition to a sustainable economy. There is a unique opportunity here for government to demonstrate economic leadership and champion international action on sustainability. But it’s also essential to develop financial and ecological prudence at home. And we must also begin to redress the perverse incentives and damaging social logic that lock us into unproductive status competition and materialistic consumerism.

Above all, there is an urgent need to develop a new ecologically-literate macro-economics capable of offering meaningful guidance for a lasting prosperity: a prosperity that for now at least will have to do without growth; and may eventually be able to replace it altogether.

To download the report click here:

At the very least have a look at pages 104-109 that contain the 'Steps towards a Sustainable Economy' that could form backbone of any Government or Council sustainable strategy.