Degrowth as a lever for change with Timothée Parrique
New My Climate Journey podcast
Today's guest is Timothée Parrique, a researcher in ecological economics at Lund University in Sweden.
Degrowth is one school of thought in the path towards decarbonization, but the topic is rife with controversy. Proponents argue against growing economies and instead shrinking production and consumption while favoring sustainability, social justice, democracy, and well-being. In other words, instead of measuring GDP as a monetary or market value, those who advocate for degrowth measure health and happiness. Skeptics aren’t convinced. Can degrowth be a powerful lever for change and is it realistic given the way some societies are structured today?
Jason posed this question on Twitter and Timothée kindly offered to share his expertise. Titled “The political economy of degrowth” (2019), Timothée’s PhD dissertation explores the economic implications of degrowth. And while we don’t get to cover everything in this episode, the conversation is another example of the importance of spending time to discuss debated concepts and tease out some of the nuances that can’t be found in 280 characters on Twitter.
In today’s episode, we cover:
[8:23] Timothée's background in ecological economics or the interaction between economy and nature
[14:29] Having a holistic perspective of climate change
[17:51] The 1.5 degree threshold
[27:07] How production and consumption contribute to climate change
[28:52] The carbon budget
[33:32] Government integrating climate mitigation into politics and environmental awareness among youth
[35:27] Finland's climate neutrality announcement
[40:37] The concept of degrowth and its origin
[43:17] A culture of low-carbon mobility seen in European countries
[46:04] Positive dividends of reducing our ecological footprint
[51:24] The Rebound Effect
[55:21] Capitalism and the impact of removing drivers for growth
[1:02:47] Technological innovation and the "avoid, shift, and improve" approach
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Episode recorded on August 4, 2022.