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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 Spiral

The Green Spiral

(p.79) 5 The Green Spiral
Can Green Sustain Growth?

Nina Kelsey

John Zysman

Stanford University Press

Viable green growth strategies will require experimentation. Conventional approaches to green growth all rely on specific national conditions, limiting their potential economic gains. Real green growth requires that nations identify and capitalize on economic advantages from transitioning to low-emissions energy. Doing so poses a complex political challenge—how to create the space for experimentation before we know if and where gains are possible? We show that many regions have found strategies that helped them succeed despite disincentives for climate action. All follow a pattern of using near-term successes to build coalitions for further action. In many cases, those coalitions formed over problems only tangentially related to climate change. But all ultimately contributed to coalitions of industry and environmentalists willing to take on climate challenges. These cumulative “green spirals” suggest how policymakers can experiment to find sources of economic gain that will stabilize long-term climate action.

Keywords:   green growth, comparative politics, economic policy, environmental policy, industrial policy, technological change, energy systems

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