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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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The Green Growth Landscape

The Green Growth Landscape

Promise and Peril for Green Growth Policy Proposals

(p.42) 3 The Green Growth Landscape
Can Green Sustain Growth?

Mark Huberty

John Zysman

Stanford University Press

This chapter reviews the arguments made by green growth advocates in support of the view that climate change mitigation can provide the basis for a new wave of growth. The review shows that most of these arguments do not hold up to scrutiny. Investment in clean energy technologies may generate new jobs, and can help sponsor new domestic industries. But green energy does not, to date, offer novel material—as opposed to environmental—advantages above the brown energy it replaces. As such, the economic argument for green energy as a transformative engine of growth falls short. Consequently, most green growth success stories depend on external factors, such as Keynesian stimulus during recessions or export-led growth in green technology, to generate economic surplus. These shortcomings suggest serious economic and political risks for green growth, absent serious efforts to discover the economic advantages of low-emissions technology.

Keywords:   green growth, economic policy, economic stimulus

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