This recent study by @C_Dorninger et al. shows that economic growth in high-income nations occurs at the expense of poorer countries.

Across the embodied flows of materials, energy, land, and labor, rich countries (in purple) used more resources from a consumption perspective than they provided through production.
For example, high-income countries are the largest net appropriators of land (of approximately 0.8 billion hectares per year). Their land footprint correspond to 31% of total global land used.
Same situation for materials, energy, and labor.
While acting as a net appropriator of embodied resources, the group of high-income countries was able to accumulate a monetary trade surplus of approximately 1200 trillion USD over the 1990–2015.
The crucial variable de-termining access to resources and trade in value added for exports was economic power, i.e. per capita Gross National Income.
In standardized accountings of trade, money and materials flow in opposite directions. But when embodied resources are considered, net flows of money and resources goes in the same direction. Rich nations accomplish a net appropriation of materials, energy, land, and labor.
Implication: we cannot all grow. Since this growth-based model of development requires the appropriation of resources from poorer regions, it seems illusory for all poorer nations to be able to ‘catch-up.”
Another implication: further development in the global South requires #degrowth in rich countries who currently monopolise materials, energy, land, and labor.…


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More from @timparrique

Jan 13
This study by @JefimVogel et al. (2021) shows that it is possible to satisfy human needs within a sustainable level of energy use.

1/ Looking at 106 countries, it analyses how the relationship between energy use and need satisfaction varies with a range of socio-economic factors relevant to the provisioning of goods and services.
2/ It looks at 6 human needs and 12 provisioning factors.
Read 12 tweets
Jan 10
If you think inequality is only a matter of income, think again – and check this study on energy inequality by @yl_oswald, @dr_anneowen, and @JKSteinberger.

1/ The richer a country, the bigger its energy footprint.
2/ Failure in economic inclusion causes exclusion from energy provision. Also: when expenditure is highly unequal in a country, the corresponding inequality in energy footprints will tend to be even larger.
Read 11 tweets
Dec 16, 2021
Six figures to understand carbon inequality from the World Inequality Report 2022.

1/ Close to half of all emissions are due to one tenth of the global population, and just one hundredth of the world population (77 million individuals) emits about 50% more than the entire bottom half of the population (3.8 billion individuals).
2/ The bottom half of the global population contributed only 16% of the growth in emissions observed since 1990, while the top 1% (77 million individuals) was responsible for 21% of emissions growth.
Read 7 tweets
Nov 24, 2021
Is decoupling likely to happen? To find out, here is a thread summary of my third and final lecture for The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature.
(Spoiler alert: the answer is no).

1/ The first limit to greening growth has to do with declining rates of Energy Returns on Energy Invested (EROI), meaning that it takes more and more energy to obtain energy.
2/ And for the economists out there who will argue that the energy sector is not that important because it’s only a small part of GDP, read this paper.
Read 15 tweets
Nov 15, 2021
Here is a summary of my second lecture for The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature on the topic of green growth. Question of the day: Is decoupling happening?

The best way to answer this question is to read the systematic review of the literature conducted by Helmut Haberl and fifteen colleagues in 2020.…
The first finding of that review is that most studies focus on greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, leaving out all other environmental pressures. Also: only 8% of all decoupling studies use consumption-based indicators.
Read 11 tweets
Feb 10, 2021
Here is a thread to summarise the "Degrowth: Socialism without growth" paper I wrote with @g_kallis.…

1/ Claim 1: Any form of endless growth is ecologically unsustainable

Because: decoupling is limited

Implications: a sustainable socialism is a socialism without growth
2/ Claim 2: Growth requires accumulation and accumulation comes with exploitation

Because: the expansion of the market sphere puts pressure on reproductive activities

Implications: if socialism means the end of exploitation, it also means the end of endless accumulation
Read 5 tweets

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