Green Economic Macro-Model and Accounts (GEMMA)

This research project analyses the possibility of achieving economic and financial stability, high employment, and good social outcomes, in the presence of clearly defined resource and environmental limits, even if these mean some limits to economic growth.

The emergence of economic growth as the primary objective of economic policy is remarkably recent. Since the 1950s, the global extraction of materials (construction minerals, ores and industrial minerals, fossil fuels, and biomass) has more than tripled, raising questions about the quality and quantity of future supplies of these materials on which, historically, economic growth has been dependent. The vast majority of these materials pass rapidly through the economy and are returned, in a degraded form, to the environment, leading to a range of environmental problems now of global proportions. Some look to “decoupling” as the way forward – the hope that additional economic growth can take place without a growth in materials and energy used by the economy. In the future, some societies may choose not to pursue economic growth as a matter of policy. Regardless of the rationale for a low or no-growth economy, it is essential to consider its implications in advance, if the possible adverse consequences of such a change in direction are to be avoided. GEMMA allows policymakers, scholars, and the engaged public to explore these scenarios.