What does degrowth mean in the Latin American context? In 2020, a series of six self-organized encounters attempted to dive into this question. Each meeting reflected the metaphor of the agricultural process: from sowing to harvesting. Among the conclusions was a unanimous desire to put into practice ‘other ways of inhabiting the world’, valuing the knowledge of the original peoples and inhabitants of the continent.
COVID-19 has had many effects. Among others, it created a pause, putting non-essential economic activity on halt. A pause that has exposed the numerous weaknesses of growth-centred, globalised economies.
In a recent article for Forbes, Corbin K Barthold makes several allegations against the idea of degrowth without having a clear understanding of the concept.
The annual World Economic Forum in Davos brought together representatives from government and business to deliberate how to solve the worsening climate and ecological crisis. The meeting came just as devastating bush fires were abating in Australia. These fires are thought to have killed up to one billion animals and generated a new wave of climate refugees. Yet, as with the COP25 climate talks in Madrid, a sense of urgency, ambition and consensus on what to do next were largely absent in Davos.
On October 1st, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced a series of economic measures for the country, including the elimination of gasoline and diesel subsidies and the liberalization of their prices, as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These measures led to the eruption of massive nationwide protests for eleven consecutive days, which were met by the government with fierce repression. Despite the repression, protests did not yield and ultimately made the Government back down and derogate these unpopular measures. The protests in Ecuador have important lessons for thinking social justice in environmental policies, and climate policies in particular.read more
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA with massive implications for people and the environment on both sides of the Atlantic. The stakes couldn´t be higher but not only for European and Americans but also for the rest of the world that would be affected in many different ways by this agreement between the two super powers of trade. In a working paper that will be released shortly1 we explore why human rights, environmental, consumer advocate and all types of organizations all over the world that are working for a world different from the corporate-led neoliberal dogma, should pay special attention to the TTIP. Some of the main concerns include: read more
The following article is a translation from the forthcoming “Atlas der Globalisierung”, that will be edited by Le Monde diplomatique and the Kolleg Postwachstumsgesellschaften (Universität Jena) under the title “Less is More. The Postgrowth-Atlas” (“Weniger wird mehr. Der Postwachstums-Atlas”.
Postwachstum. Degrowth. Décroissance. These are buzzwords of a newly emerging social movement of activists and academics who criticize the dominant development model of continuous capitalist and material growth in industrialized countries. Most characteristically, however, they search for alternatives – which different approaches are discussed? read more
As it becomes abundantly clear that humanity as a whole has crossed the ecological limits of the earth, and that countries like China and India are fast joining the already-industrialised nations in stressing the planet even more, the search for radical alternatives is humanity’s most urgent quest. There is no doubt that, as a species, we have to downsize if we are to respect the limits, not only for ourselves but equally important, for the millions of other species that co-inhabit the earth with us.
But is ‘degrowth’, or the reduction of material and energy uses for human use, a valid and viable strategy for the ‘global South’, i.e. countries and populations (including some in industrialized countries) that have not reached an excessive or even acceptable level of prosperity? I think an emerging framework of well-being from India could offer some perspectives on this. read more