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WIREs Clim Change
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Understanding different perspectives on economic growth and climate policy

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Abstract Should economic growth continue in a world threatened by the prospect of catastrophic climate change? The scientific and public debate has brought forth a broad spectrum of views and narratives on this question, ranging from neoclassical economics to degrowth. We argue that different positions can be attributed to underlying differences in views on (a) factors that determine human well‐being, (b) the feasibility and desirability of economic growth, (c) appropriate intervention points, and (d) preferences about governance and policy options. For each of these dimensions, we propose points of agreement on which a consensus between conflicting positions might be achieved. From this basis, we distill a sustainability transition perspective that could act as a basis for a renewed debate on how to align human well‐being with environmental sustainability. This article is categorized under: Climate Economics>Economics and Climate Change
Benefits of economic activity versus their associated environmental impacts
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Potential interventions along a chain of energy services. Own figure based on Cullen and Allwood (2010). (a) Primary energy, (b) conversion devices, (c) passive systems, (d) final services, and (e) human need and satisfaction
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