Article    Peer-Reviewed

Should We Pursue Green Economic Growth?

Manuel Rodeiro
Department of Philosophy & Religion, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Highlights of Sustainability, 2024, 3(1), 33–45.
Received: 19 July 2023    Accepted: 18 January 2024    Published: 29 January 2024
This article is part of the Special Issue Green Economic Growth and Energy Consumption.
Environmentalists have long claimed it is unjust for the state to prioritize economic interests over environmental ones by sacrificing ecosystem integrity and functioning to unsustainably expand the economy. Recently, mainstream environmentalists have moved to a more conciliatory approach highlighting the common ground between environmental and economic goals. They today claim processes of economic growth and development can be made just if they become green. This paper explores the question: should states pursue “green growth”? Although some critics claim green growth is impossible, I maintain it is. I theorize three conditions that must be met for an instance of growth to be truly considered green. That a development project is green, however, does not automatically ensure it is just. Justice considerations remain in adjudicating the competing interests of different groups of stakeholders. I then examine four reasonable approaches to resolving controversies over the pursuit of green growth: cost-benefit analysis, sufficientarianism, democracy, and pluralism. I conclude a liberal pluralist form of decision-making is best for ensuring fairness.
Copyright © 2024 Rodeiro. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use and distribution provided that the original work is properly cited.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Cite this Article
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