Our current trajectory suggests that the world system will realise a decline in living standards. There needs to be a shift in the global economy that moves away from wellbeing measures based on GDP, and which embraces new meaningful measures of progress, as well as better accounting of resources and people. In recent years there has been renewed interest in the 1972 paper from the Club of Rome commonly known as The Limits To Growth, including a recent article in The Conversation, with updated studies showing that we are on track to realise the standard scenario in The Limits to Growth.
Many leading thinkers around the world have begun to address these issues. One of the lead authors of The Limits to Growth, Jorgen Randers, has re-examined future scenarios in 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.
Peter Victor, a Professor of Environmental Studies at York University, and author of Managing without Growth: Slower by Design, not Disaster, has undertaken detailed simulations of the Canadian economy without economic growth as a goal. He finds that “it is possible to have full employment, eradicate poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maintain fiscal balance without economic growth”.