Peter Victor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Toronto, Canada
At the Ecocity World Summit Montréal 2011, during the keynote "Economics of Ecocities"
Economic growth is the over-arching policy objective of governments worldwide. Yet its long-term viability is increasingly questioned because of environmental impacts and impending and actual shortages of energy and material resources. Furthermore, rising incomes in rich countries bear little relation to gains in happiness and well-being. Growth has not eliminated poverty, brought full employment or protected the environment. Results from a simulation model of the Canadian economy suggest that it is possible to have full employment, eradicate poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maintain fiscal balance without economic growth. It's time to turn our attention away from pursuing growth and towards specific objectives more directly relating to our well-being and that of the planet.