started this petition to
France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation of the USA,
Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation in the EU
economic growth is not sustainable on a finite planet. This is not just a common sense argument anymore, but a statement strongly supported by fresh scientific evidence (for a summary, watch this TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9_Xc9wxByM). Major environmental problems that
undermine human well-being – such as climate change, various types of pollution
and the destruction of ecosystems – are largely driven by rising consumption that
increases the use of natural resources.
However, current economies
are dependent on growth. Too low or negative growth creates all sorts of economic and social
problems. Rising unemployment, increasing poverty and mounting social tensions
are just a few of these.
resolve the conflict between environmental and socio-economic objectives, a new
economic model is needed, one that is not based on growth. At a very
minimum, we should try to reduce our dependence on growth. Given the
severity of environmental problems and the fact that increasing wealth does not
bring happiness above a certain threshold, one would assume that economists and
other researchers are busily working on finding alternative economic models.
They are not.
there is minimal research on growth dependence. Leading economists, for example, never
question growth. The empty promise of politicians is "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". Similarly, the environmental strategy of the OECD and the World Bank is
just “green growth”, there is no “Plan B”. And – as of now – there is no
funding for research on growth dependence, which can make one pessimistic about
But this we
By demanding funding for research on growth dependence, we can encourage thinking about the many complexities that
need to be addressed in non-growing economies. In this way, new voices will be amplified in
economics. If economists change, policy advice will change. Furthermore, public
discourse will change. And, eventually, the world may change.
demand funding for research on economic systems that do not have to grow endlessly
to avoid social problems. This is an inevitable first step towards sustainable prosperity.
Thank you for signing and sharing the petition!
Dr. Miklós Antal
Posted: 13 June 2014 (Updated: 14 April 2015)