Welcome to the website of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Limits to Growth, a platform for cross-party dialogue on economic growth in a time of environmental and social transition. Our aims are: to create the space for cross-party dialogue on environmental and social limits to growth; to assess the evidence for such limits, identify the risks and build support for appropriate responses; and to contribute to the international debate on redefining prosperity.
The aim of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Limits to Growth
is to provide a new platform for cross-party dialogue on economic growth in a time of environmental and social transition. The APPG is chaired by Caroline Lucas MP (Green) and co-chaired by Daniel Zeichner MP (Labour), Kevin Hollinrake (Conservatives) and Alan Whitehead (Labour). Its principal aims are:
- to create the space for cross-party dialogue on specific economic risks related to environmental and social limits;
- to assess the evidence for such limits, identify the risks and build support for appropriate responses; and
- to contribute to the international debate on redefining prosperity and measures of growth.
The full membership of the APPG
includes the following parliamentarians:
Caroline Lucas MP (Green)
Lord Oxburgh (Crossbench)
Lord Puttnam (Labour)
The APPG on Limits to Growth is an officially recognised cross-party group of MPs and Lords in the UK Parliament. The membership of the group is restricted to Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The secretariat for the APPG on Limits to Growth is provided by the ESRC Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) at the University of Surrey. If you would like to be kept informed about the group’s activities, please subscribe to the CUSP mailing list or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Beyond Redistribution—Confronting inequality in an era of low growth | An Economy That Works, Briefing Paper No 2
The second in our series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores inequality in the UK. It examines the evidence for rising inequality over the last fifty years, estimates the economic welfare lost to society from an unequal distribution of incomes and addresses the critical question of managing inequality in the context of declining growth rates. Read more.
Understanding the ‘New Normal’—The Challenge of Secular Stagnation | An Economy That Works, Briefing Paper No 1
This first in our series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores the underlying phenomenon of ‘secular stagnation’ – a long-term decline in the rate of growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The paper examines the evidence, explores the causes and discusses the implications of what some now call the ‘new normal’. Read more.
Uncertainties over which EU environmentally-related policies are likely to be culled in the process and aftermath of the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ should be cause for concern regarding the long term health of both humans and the ecosystems on which we all depend. The APPG briefing focuses upon the risk to the viability of Precautionary Principle from the lengthy and involved process of repatriation of EU Law. The Precautionary Principle offers a comprehensive defence against policies which favour ‘growth’ at the cost of potentially irreversible or catastrophic risk. The Precautionary Principle remains on the frontline of the legal-environmental defence and should not be downgraded, but actually if possible enhanced. More information on the briefing page.
Budgets are routinely analysed by people who believe there is nothing problematic about economic growth. Forecast rates of GDP growth play a key role in the Budget calculations, and Budgets are praised or criticised based on the effect they are deemed to have on future growth. In our view, such analysis misses a critical aspect of the contemporary debate: namely the prospect that there may be environmental, social and secular limits to economic growth. In relation to the Budget Statement released by the Chancellor on 8th March 2017, we would make the following remarks... Read more
Four and a half decades after the Club of Rome published its landmark report on Limits to Growth, the study remains critical to our understanding of economic prosperity. This new review of the Limits debate has been written to mark the launch of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Limits to Growth. It outlines the contents of the Club of Rome’s report, traces the history of responses to it and dispels some of the myths surrounding it. As Prof Tim Jackson summarises the report in this accompanying CUSP blog, if the Club of Rome is right, the next few decades are decisive: One of the most important lessons from the study is that early responses are absolutely vital as limits are approached. Faced with these challenges, there is also clearly a premium on creating political space for change and developing positive narratives of progress. A part of the aim of the APPG is create that space. Read more
In Autumn 2017, CUSP and the APPG on Limits to Growth hosted a debate to mark the 40th Anniversary of Fred Hirsch’s ‘The Social Limits to Growth’. More than 100 people joined us for this timely discussion on Hirsch’s challenging analysis and its relevance today. The panel discussion was chaired by Caroline Lucas MP and Tim Jackson, with speakers including Lord Robert Skidelsky, Professor Donald Hirsch (son of Fred Hirsch) and Professor Diane Coyle. More information on the event page.
On Monday the 28th November 2016 we hosted Jørgen Randers, Kate Raworth, Federico Demaria and Graeme Maxton for an evening debate at the House of Commons, chaired by Caroline Lucas MP and Tim Jackson. More information on the event page.
On 19th April 2016, we held our inaugural event Limits to Growth or Opportunities for Prosperity? at the House of Commons, with current Co-Chair of the Club of Rome, Anders Wijkman, as our keynote speaker. The event also marked the launch of Limits Revisited – a new review of the limits debate commissioned specifically for the APPG.
The secretariat for the APPG on Limits to Growth is provided by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), an internationally leading research organisation, dedicated to tackling the ‘Post-Growth Challenge‘. A list of selected links to recent CUSP research in the field can be accessed on the post-growth theme page.
People interested in our work might also be interested in the work of related cross-party groups: a list of website links can be accessed on the ‘Related APPGs’ page.
The Limits to Growth debate goes back to the 1970s. A list of landmark literature in the field can be accessed on our ‘Literature‘ page.