Dr Philip O'Sullivan (OU)

Carbon, economic growth and unsustainability: the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy beyond GDP

This seminar will focus on environmental economics and policy. It will present the case that, despite the recent global economic downturn and recession in the United Kingdom, the current economic policy response of expanding growth driven by fossil fuel production is actually unsustainable. Rather than being the answer to increased prosperity and wider social benefits, the current economic approach of chasing economic growth measured by an increase in GDP is environmentally and socially unsustainable on a planet with finite resources. While debates about the possibility and implications of a 'post-growth' economy are worldwide in scope, analysis is given to the specific condition and concerns of the Northern Ireland economy and environment, and counter arguments that such an economic transition is utopian and impractical are addressed.