Much of the debate between ‘green growth’ and ‘post-growth’ or ‘degrowth’ advocates revolves around the question of whether or not economic growth is being decoupled from environmental pressures. As we discussed in our first Escaping Growth Dependency report, for growth to be ‘green enough’ to meet climate goals, we would need an absolute decoupling of a significant magnitude. In other words, environmental pressures would have to decrease rapidly while the economy continues to grow. We explained that only relative decoupling (where environmental pressures still increase, but not as fast as economic growth) has been achieved so far, and sufficiently significant absolute decoupling would require “technological breakthroughs unlike anything seen to date.”

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