Sep 12 • 56M

Degrowth and social justice with Matthias Schmelzer

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A growing body of knowledge about climate change and potential solutions. This series traverses disciplines, industries, and opinions with hundreds of deep-dive conversations with science, technology, and climate leaders.
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Today’s guest is Matthias Schmelzer, an economic historian, networker and climate activist. 

This episode is complementary to a previous podcast with Timothée Parrique, who covered the topic of degrowth. Matthias’ main interests include the political economy of capitalism, social and environmental history, climate catastrophe, aviation, and alternative economics. He is author of the award-winning The Hegemony of Growth and co-author of The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to a World Beyond Capitalism. 

To further the conversation about degrowth, Jason and Matthias discuss the overall concept and build bridges to not only increase understanding, but also help us come together to address the problem that we all share.

In today’s episode, we cover: 

  • [6:14] How Matthias became interested in degrowth 

  • [9:57] Labeling and its impact on progress

  • [16:30] Growth focused reforms and social justice that need to be addressed while reducing emissions 

  • [24:42] GDP growth stats in Western countries 

  • [27:09] Alternative policies that would help reduce emissions without a total overhaul 

  • [29:59] Degrowth as a proposal for early industrialized rich countries in the global north

  • [33:36] How we can fund the transition 

  • [41:48] Focusing on the demand side of emissions, including aviation and vehicle size 

  • [44:30] Decarbonizing cement and other materials  

  • [48:07] Ensuring a just transition away from fossil fuels 

  • [52:13] What Matthias wants capitalists to hear 

Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.

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Episode recorded on August 9, 2022.