• Morten Skou Nicolaisen
While there has long been a debate in academia, politics as well as society at large regarding the need to reduce the harmful effects on nature caused by mankind’s increasing levels of consumption, it is only within recent years that political consensus has been reached on the matter of changes in global ecosystems being attributed to anthropogenic causes. This study seeks to investigate the relationship between economic growth and environmental impacts from the activities required to facilitate such growth by analyzing recent experience from the transport sector. Three scenarios for potential decoupling strategies are constructed in order to evaluate appropriate action, and whether a decoupling does at all seem likely under the current structure of modern economies. Results are not particularly optimistic in this regard due to limitations of the decoupling potential in all three scenarios, as well as negative societal consequences that could arise from intense pursuit of such strategies. It is therefore argued that the foundations of economic growth in its current form are in need of a severe restructuring if sustainable development is to be achieved without fear of a future economic and ecological collapse.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2009
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet, Institut for Samfundsudvikling og Planlægning
ID: 17690504