De-growth is the key green message


Sir, – Green growth has been celebrated by many as the means by which we will combat global warming and avoid catastrophic climate breakdown – electric vehicles, carbon offsetting, increasing our reliance on renewables over time.

All of these measures are very welcome, but fundamentally miss the truth – the only path to the salvation of our world is not in growth, but in de-growth. As well as urgently divorcing ourselves from the fossil fuel industry, our society needs to shrink rapidly in many sectors: fewer private cars on the roads, less cattle in our fields, less plastic on our high streets.

A just transition for those whose livelihoods will be affected is vital, but let us be clear about what we are transitioning to: a less consumerist, radically more sustainable society.

This is not a sacrifice, but an opportunity to completely rethink our attitudes to consumption and wellbeing, on a global scale. It is time for us to grasp that opportunity. – Yours, etc.,


Dublin 15.