Wealthy countries are vowing to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas while making no such commitments at home.
BY BENJAMIN ATTIA & MORGAN BAZILIAN 10.19.2021
Video gamers in California consume more electricity than entire nations. The average Tanzanian used only one-sixth the electricity consumed by a typical American refrigerator in 2014.
Globally, the top 10 percent of countries consume 20 times more energy than the bottom 10 percent. And 1.1 billion sub-Saharan Africans share the same amount of power generation capacity as Germany’s 83 million people. At least half have no access to electricity at all.
These stark energy inequalities are fueling thorny debates around financing Africa’s energy future as world leaders and their negotiators prepare for COP26, the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
(Re)introduction: Degrowth as a Revolutionary Process
Degrowth is a corrective prescription for the Global North, not the Global South. Degrowth targets the “externally conceived and managed growth-driven projects of private and government entities, from national to international levels.” Driven by its mission to accelerate the growth of its core economies, the Global North erected institutions such as the United States military, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and private Wall Street banks to tip the balance of resource distribution and wealth accumulation to their favor. In this way, the infinite growth of Global North economies prevents any development of Global South economies.
Revolutionary intellectuals in the US like James and Grace Lee Boggs synthesized the idea of degrowth as a form of ecological reparations as early as the 1970s.
C.J. Polychroniou (CJP): Since the idea of a Green New Deal entered into public consciousness, the debate about climate emergency is becoming increasingly polarized between those advocating ‘green growth’ and those arguing in support of ‘degrowth’. What exactly does ‘degrowth’ mean, and is this at the end of the day an economic or an ideological debate?
Indigenous communities have their own experts and ways of knowing. Here’s how people are working to bring them together with Western science to tackle the climate emergency
By Charnel Anderson – Published on Sep 30, 2021
This is the first international master’s fully dedicated on research and policy for degrowth. The faculty consists of researchers devoting their work on degrowth-related areas and they will share and discuss their latest research with students. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of the theory of degrowth, and also delve deeper into current issues and debates, receiving training from the top academics in the field internationally. Particular attention is given to linking degrowth to questions of social and environmental justice, and building bridges to the pluriverse of ideas, which alongside degrowth, challenge extractivism and growth-based development around the world.
The course is ideal for those who want to learn more about degrowth, either after their bachelor’s degree, or after they got a master’s degree on a different topic or even started a PhD, and want to give a degrowth direction to their research and work. We welcome professionals from all walks of life who want to study degrowth and learn more about it! The course is great for people who want to learn part-time or full-time about alternatives to our current ecological and economic predicaments.
While we aspire to mobilising actors for change and provide the tools and knowledge to think critically and strategize more effectively, we are also aware that our program does not teach someone how to be an activist. This masters is explicitly research-focused and oriented towards policy-making in the Global North.
For questions please contact: degrowtheep
Degrowth is a subject of global debate. For obvious environmental reasons, few still believe that infinite growth is possible in our finite world. The ‘always more’model of our unequal, productivist, consumerist society is reaching its limits. Advocates of degrowth claim that it provides opportunities for social justice, emancipationand greater enjoyment of life.
THE DAM BREAKS — Academic endowments are entering a new normal after Harvard University, the richest school in the world, said it would divest from fossil fuels.
Greta Thunberg has excoriated global leaders over their promises to address the climate emergency, dismissing them as “blah, blah, blah”.
Carbon emissions are on track to rise by 16% by 2030, according to the UN, rather than fall by half, which is the cut needed to keep global heating under the internationally agreed limit of 1.5C.
Earlier this month, the Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International released a new report entitled Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon. The report analyzes the impact Indigenous resistance to fossil fuel projects in the United States and Canada has had on greenhouse gas emissions over the past 10 years…. The new report is based on an analysis of 20 fossil fuel projects that have been stopped or delayed in the past 10 years due to Indigenous communities resisting across what is currently called the United States and Canada…. Indigenous Resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least 25% of annual U.S. & Canadian emissions. The numbers don’t lie. Indigenous peoples have long led the fight to protect Mother Earth and the only way forward is to center Indigenous knowledge and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The world’s food system costs trillions in poor health and ecological damage. On World Food Day, governments and researchers must commit to more-regular audits of these unseen expenses.
Photo of a pile of carrots: One-third of food does not need to be wasted.Credit: Alistair Scott/Alamy
There’s an unfolding tragedy at the heart of the world’s food system and its cause lies mainly at the door of governments, food manufacturers and agribusinesses.
The situation is urgent. One-third of all food goes to waste, and yet governments and other players in the food system are unable to prevent 820 million people from regularly going hungry. The food industry, especially, bears responsibility for the fact that 680 million people are obese, but it is largely governments and their citizens who have to pick up the costs of treatment.
When industrial-scale farms draw copious quantities of water to irrigate crops, again it is taxpayers who foot the bill for the water scarcity that can follow. It’s the same for agrochemicals and their effects on the health of people and ecosystems. Governments find themselves shouldering the costs of biodiversity loss, and mopping up agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse-gas emissions.
These hidden costs — or externalities — must be met, and last month a landmark report estimated them to be somewhere in the region of US$12 trillion a year, rising to $16 trillion by 2050. That is a staggering figure — equivalent to the gross domestic product of China.