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Can Green Sustain Growth?From the Religion to the Reality of Sustainable Prosperity$
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John Zysman and Mark Huberty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785259

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785259.001.0001

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From Religion to Reality

From Religion to Reality

Energy Systems Transformation for Sustainable Prosperity

(p.3) 1 From Religion to Reality
Can Green Sustain Growth?

Mark Huberty

John Zysman

Stanford University Press

Green growth promises to transform climate change mitigation from a difficult problem to an economic sure thing. We argue that this promise is, to date, undeserved. Green growth must, to be successful, offer novel opportunities for productivity growth above and beyond those offered by fossil fuels. To date, green growth advocates have not shown how this may be the case. Thus unlike earlier energy revolutions—such as the shift to coal during the Industrial Revolution—there is little reason to believe that climate change mitigation will become the foundation of a new wave of economic growth. Given the political importance of climate change mitigation—and the difficulty of striking political deals absent an economic upside—we argue that policymakers must form climate change policy in ways that permit experimentation with the possibility of green growth.

Keywords:   green growth, climate change, emissions reduction, industrial policy, fossil fuels

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