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date: 27 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Debates about whether limits to economic growth are necessary or desirable have moved on to discussions about the type and quality of economic growth. The notion of ‘green growth’ has become widely adopted as a core objective of international institutions and national governments. The concept of ‘green growth’ is used flexibly and its definition contested. Green growth is defined as long-run increases in gross domestic product alongside the enhancement of natural capital. An analysis is undertaken that dismisses some environmental concerns, and instead leads to a focus on others. Theoretical economics of green growth are reviewed. The chapter observes that implementation of policies in the real world is far from the theoretical ‘optimal’ in narrow economic models. Developing practical green growth policies for the Anthropocene will require a careful and different approach to technology, markets, and prices, a realistic assessment of political economy constraints, and an acceptance of pragmatic solutions.

Keywords: green growth, planetary boundaries, Anthropocene, limits to growth, economic growth theory, climate change, biodiversity, environmental Kuznets curve

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