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Peter A. Victor and Martin Sers

This chapter highlights the challenges facing an economy seeking to grow economically and pursuing a transition away from fossil fuels. It focuses on some of the macroeconomic challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It stresses the risk of economies getting caught in an ‘energy-emissions trap’, in which the transition to renewable energy requires increases in fossil fuel consumption, and asks whether green growth can avoid this risk. The chapter also emphasises the distinction between green growth as a short-term or long-term strategy, and questions whether green growth can be a long-term strategy, particularly when expanded beyond the specific objectives of mitigating carbon dioxide emissions to the objectives of addressing multiple planetary boundaries, such as biodiversity and ecosystems.