Historically, industrialisation, capitalism, and affluence have contributed to the emissions that are warming the planet’s atmosphere. As humanity starts to grapple with the Herculean challenge of climate change, should economic growth be abandoned to stand a chance of success? Would this lead to a better society, especially in already rich nations, freeing them from pointless consumerism?
The book takes these legitimate concerns as a starting point to draw the reader on a journey into the socioeconomic, evolutionary, historical and cultural origins of the growth imperative. Growth is underpinned by the human quest for happiness, wellbeing and self-determination, and contributes to the stability of liberal democracy, the peaceful conduct of politics and international relations, and the very way our society is organised: capitalism. Ditching it would not only prove impractical, but would also sow chaos, exacerbating conflict within and between societies.
Rather than simply stating impossibilities, Growth for Good draws a credible agenda to enroll capitalism in the fight to stave off climate catastrophe. Shelving command-and-control solutions, or the complete reliance on the market, Terzi details a plan involving an activist government, proactive business, and engaged citizens.
Alessio Terzi, a lecturer at HEC Paris and Sciences Po Lille, is an Economist at the European Commission. Prior to this, he was a Fellow at Bruegel and a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School. He also has work experience from the European Central Bank. He obtained a PhD from the Hertie School with a thesis on economic growth, holds an MPA in economic policy from the LSE, and a BSc in international economics from Bocconi University. His research and commentaries have appeared in leading media outlets including BBC World News, Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
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