Recently, the concept of “green growth” has become fashionable. It promises to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation by focusing on sustainable technologies and more efficient production methods.
But is this promise realistic?
It is possible to improve the efficiency of our production processes and use more environmentally friendly technologies. But these advances are often accompanied by the so-called “rebound effect Effect” nullified: As we become more efficient, we tend to consume even more.
You also have to consider that green technologies also require resources. Building wind turbines and solar cells, manufacturing electric cars, even producing “green” hydrogen – all of this requires materials and energy. So there are also limits to green growth. So green growth is by no means the same as sustainable growth. Just being “green” is not enough if we want to put our economy on a sustainable footing!