On 18th January 2018, Positive Money launched a new report which sets out why governments are pursuing limitless economic growth despite clear environmental constraints, at an event in Parliament.
The report, titled ‘Escaping Growth Dependency: Why reforming money will reduce the need to pursue economic growth at any cost to the environment’, finds that spiralling levels of both public and private debt are putting pressure on governments to pursue infinite economic growth as their primary policy objective. It outlines the role of the money and banking system in creating unsustainable levels of debt, and recommends reforms which could allow governments to transition to a more sustainable economic model.
The launch event saw speeches from Doughnut Economics author Kate Raworth, Labour MP Alex Sobel, Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake and Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, as well as the report’s co-author Fran Boait.
Kate Raworth praised the politicians in attendance for being “brave enough” to talk about growth dependency, saying that the House of Commons and House of Lords are a vital part of moving from a “degenerative” to a “regenerative” economy.
Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money said: “ As the catastrophic effects of a growth-led economy on the environment become more and more clear, the reality is that a finite planet cannot sustain infinite economic growth. In order to move beyond this dependence on growth, there needs to be a discussion of the systemic reforms which could support the transition to a fairer and more sustainable economy.
“It is great to see MPs from some of the UK’s main political parties engaging with this urgent and underexplored dimension to the political and economic debate”, she added.
Escaping Growth Dependency was funded by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and authored by Fran Boait and Graham Hodgson. It can be viewed in full here.