29 Mar 2009

SDC reports on 'Prosperity without Growth'

GROWTH has broken our economic system and attempts by Gordon Brown to mend it by kick starting MORE GROWTH are ‘delusional’ and ‘pathological.’ So says a damning report by the government’s own advisors, including the Green Party candidates for the European Elections, Derek Wall and Dr. Miriam Kennet.

The two contributed to the scathing report Prosperity without Growth, out today (Monday 30th March 2009) by the Sustainable Development Commission of leading environmental advisors. It found capitalism has failed and was always destined to fail.

“The narrow pursuit of growth represents a horrible distortion of the common good and of underlying human values,” the report concludes. “The market was not undone by rogue individuals or the turning of a blind eye by incompetent regulators. It was undone by growth itself.”

We are living in an “age of irresponsibility”, it says.

“Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries, but question it we must,”

It points to the ‘the myth of growth’ which has failed to provide stability and to safeguard jobs. It has proved itself to be unsustainable and unworkable in the long run, and MUST be replaced by a fairer and more sustainable system.

“The people who say Capitalism has failed can no longer be viewed as radical loonies,” says Derek Wall, “We can see now all around us that the system has failed us, failed to safeguard peoples’ livelihoods, and must now be completely overhauled.”

According to the report, inequality is higher in industrialised nations than it was 20 years ago. The rich have got richer, but the poor have stayed poor, with wealth only reaching a “lucky few”.

The SDC also points to the ‘disastrous’ environmental consequences of the past quarter of a century of growth.

In the last 25 years the global economy has doubled, leaving 60% of the world’s natural ecosystems degraded and threatening “catastrophic” climate change.

It report recommends 12 steps to a sustainable economy which include respecting ecological limits, a fundamental overhaul of our work patterns and consumerist expectations, and tackling the gaps between rich and poor.


Derek Wall and Miriam Kennet, who contributed to the report, are available for Interview.

Dr. Derek Wall is an experienced Green political campaigner, published author and journalist. He was Male Principal Speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales, and writes a regular green blog. He's standing as a candidate for the Green Party for the European Elections in June.

Miriam Kennet, qualified in archaeology, economics, and environmental science, is a member of Mansfield College, and the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University and has researched into environmental economics at South Bank University, London, at Templeton College, Oxford University, and Keele University. She is co-editor of one of the few books on Green Economics; "Green Economics, beyond Supply and Demand to Meeting People's Needs. She's also a Reading Councillor and a candidate for the Euro Elections this year.

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