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As human economies grow, they use more and more natural resources and increase their impacts of the environment. The question arises as to whether continuing economic growth is a realistic objective on a finite planet. Theoretically it is possible for economic growth to continue indefinitely and in some places economic growth has been accompanied by reductions in environmental impacts. However, strong public policies are required to bring such developments about. At present most countries do not have the requisite policies in place, but with political will there is no reason why rising prosperity, resource conservation and environmental improvements should not be simultaneously achieved.
Paul Ekins has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of London and is Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources at University College London. He is also a Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre. Paul Ekins’ academic work, published in numerous books, articles and scientific papers, focuses on the conditions and policies for achieving an environmentally sustainable economy. His book Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: the Prospects for Green Growth appeared in 2000. In the UK New Year’s Honours List for 2015 he received an OBE for services to environmental policy
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx