Policies for Green Growth Versus Policies for No Growth: A Matter of Timing

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Richard G. Lipsey. "Policies for Green Growth Versus Policies for No Growth: A Matter of Timing." In The Handbook of Green Growth, Roger Foquet (ed.). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (in press).

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Climate change
Green growth
No-growth policies
Environmental policies
Carbon pricing

Advocates of green-growth policies and those who advocate policies to stop growth both accept that the world faces serious environmental problems. They disagree on and debate about appropriate remedies. Green-growth advocates argue that it is possible to create a green economy compatible with sustained growth. The no-growth advocates argue that the whole growth process must be stopped if the planet is to be saved from catastrophe. This short paper argues that choosing the optimal policy for dealing with these serious problems does not require deciding which group is right. Instead it is argued that the optimal policy is to act as if the green-growth advocates are right and only if they are proved wrong by the failure of their policies to do the job, should no-growth policies be attempted.


This is a draft chapter/article that has been accepted for publication by Edward Elgar Publishing in the forthcoming book The Handbook of Green Growth edited by Roger Foquet due to be published (forthcoming).

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Book chapter
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