Despite the unprecedented gravity of the challenges posed by global warming, most political systems have not given them the required priority. The oil industry has resisted, and many countries have taken only token measures to reduce emissions and mitigate the worst effects. In this context, this book examines the progressive options available to today’s developing countries as they face the limitations of neoliberalism and the existential challenge of global warming.
Examining the cases of both low-income fossil fuel-dependent economies and large middle-income economies, this book argues that for all developing economies the best way forward includes ‘green’ macroeconomic policies articulated with progressive industrial and social policies, thus allowing these countries to achieve economic diversification, build alternative drivers of growth, and deliver improvements in the distribution of income, wealth and power. There is urgent need for this progressive policy agenda - grounded on heterodox economics, committed to social integration and the reduction of multiple inequalities - to improve the economic outcomes for these countries, improve the lives of citizens and meet global climate targets. The book argues that capitalism challenges the possibility of free and dignified existence while climate change challenges the possibility of life itself, and that these challenges must be confronted together. Since neoliberal capitalism will not adopt the necessary policies to reduce carbon emissions rapidly, it must be overthrown – not only for ethical or logical reasons, or to shift to better arrangements for the functioning of society, but in order to preserve the conditions for life itself.
This agenda for progressive economic development is essential reading for anyone interested in heterodox economics, development studies, international politics, international relations and sustainable business.
Table of Contents
1. Capitalism and the Climate
2. The Imperative to Change
3. The Challenge of Diversification
4. Strategies for a Democratic Transition
5. Growth and Distribution
6. Democratic Policies for Diversification, Distribution, and Development
7. Financing the Transition to an Inclusive, Diversified and Sustainable Economy
Alfredo Saad-Filho is Professor of Political Economy and International Development at King’s College London, UK.