Limits to Growth +50: Can economies keep growing indefinitely on a finite planet?

Limits to Growth +50: Can economies keep growing indefinitely on a finite planet?

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Seminar ved NMBU Bærekraftsarena
09:00 - 11:00

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Limits to Growth, co-author of the iconic report Jørgen Randers joins an expert panel to discuss its implications in the face of accelerating climate crises. 10 June in Oslo's Litteraturhuset.

10 June 2022, 09:00 - 11:00 (refreshments served from 08:30)
Litteraturhuset (Wergeland room), Oslo, Norway 
Free event, registration required: Register here

You can watch this event on YouTube

It is now fifty years since the Club of Rome published the report Limits to Growth, triggering an earthquake in policy and academia. At its basics, the thesis of limits is straightforward: material growth cannot continue forever in a finite planet, hence deep transformations are needed in our growth-based economies to avoid climate breakdown. 

The practical implications of limits have generated heated and enduring debates. Environmental scientists warn about catastrophic effects of crossing tipping points; economists claim that technological innovation and resource substitution make limits of little practical relevance (a vision shared by many politicians and business representatives), whilst critical social scientists claim that discourses on limits tend to serve elite agendas.  

Reaching its splendour in the 1970s, the thesis of limits declined during the 1980s and 1990s under criticism from ecological modernists that proclaimed salvation through technology, and from environmental justice advocates, who saw it as way of diverting blame for ecological problems from the rich and powerful to the poor and marginalized. However, the thesis of limits has resurged with strength over recent years around notions like planetary boundaries, doughnut economics, and degrowth. It is also gaining new traction as international science-policy bodies such as the United Nations Climate and Biodiversity panels call for transformative changes in economic and financial systems. 

Coinciding with the 50th year anniversary of Limits to GrowthNMBU’s Sustainability Arena ‘Embedding planetary boundaries in science, policy and education’ is organizing a seminar to discuss the implications of limits in the face of accelerating climate crises. The event is in collaboration with the Political Ecology Forum, the International Society for Ecological Economics and the European Society for Ecological Economics

Keynote speech:

  • Jørgen Randers, co-author of Limits to Growth, and Professor Emeritus of Climate Strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School. 


  • Tone Smith, Board member of the European Society for Ecological Economics; Rethinking Economics Norway
  • Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment
  • Marie Sneve Martinussen, Representative, Red Party, Parliament of Norway (Stortinget)
  • Lyla Mehta, Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (UK) and Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences


Litteraturhuset i Oslo
Campus Ås
Published 20. mai 2022 - 10:27 - Updated 2. juni 2022 - 12:58