"To grow, we need to emit more". Inevitable?

The subject of climate justice is very powerfully, and rightly argued for by Sunita in that video. It’s indeed true that the developed world created models that appropriated not only our global commons, but often national resources too across the globe and benefited from this. They must take greater responsibility for the emissions cuts, as well as the huge transition to alternatives to these models. And of course, lead by example wrt the “giving up” of what we’ve decided over decades are markers of success and growth.

From our perspective, is it enough, or even safe to continue with the assumption that we have “pending growth” and “our share of emissions” due to us? It might seem risky to throw away the models and measures we’ve gotten accustomed to, but is it possible we’re shying away from a larger ambition of how we can take care of our people, chase the end goals of health, education, nutrition etc without the current means that we assume get us there that need us to emit more? That imagination needs a huge rethink, debate and consensus, but perhaps that’s the one to push towards and demand the beneficiaries of the models that have cause us collective harm pay for.


The developed world must take greater responsibility - it could very easily lead by example in this global crisis. We can’t wait/count on it either and that’s okay.

It’s a fair point - how focusing on growth and our share of the remaining emissions budget might distract us from how we could actually be even more transformative and solve the root problems. We should also not forget we as humans have come to grow into societies and that fact irrefutably has gotten us this far - for the good and the bad. The social capital (i.e. the emergent property as a result) is our strength. Solving the climate crisis without climate justice would actually hurt the underlying human psychological expectation that the world could be a just place. For that reason, I believe, including climate justice in the end goal along with health, education, nutrition, etc would actually be the larger ambition. At the same time, climate justice need not necessarily take the form of “pending growth” or “our share of emissions”.

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