Abstract: The emission targets agreed in Paris require a radical reduction of material extraction, use and disposal. The core claim of this article is that a radical dematerialization can only be part and parcel of degrowth. Given that capitalist economies are designed to grow, this raises the question of whether, and under what circumstances, the inevitable ‘degrowth’ can become socially sustainable. Three economic policies are discussed in this direction: work-sharing, green taxes and public money.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Material demand reduction’. The Philosophical Transactions of the British Royal Society; Volume 375, issue 2095