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My Climate Journey
Degrowth as a lever for change with Timothée Parrique

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

Get connected: 
Jason’s Twitter
Timothée’s Twitter
MCJ Podcast Twitter
MCJ Collective Twitter

*You can also reach us via email at, where we encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Episode recorded on August 4, 2022.

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My Climate Journey
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.