Identifying pathways for degrowth transition in European countries using the aspirational donut model.

Authors: Eric Holt*, Furman University, Brannon Andersen, Furman University, Mladen Domazet, Institute for Political Ecology
Topics: Environmental Perception, Sustainability Science, Europe
Keywords: Degrowth, Aspirational Donut, Cultural Values
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download



Social and economic institutions like capitalism and the system goal of economic growth have led to exponential growth in domestic material extraction. Transitioning to sustainable systems will require a significant reduction and redistribution in global resource consumption. The degrowth donut provides a model for sustainability analysis that includes biophysical, socioeconomic, and cultural data. Czechia, Estonia, and Spain were compared using the aspirational donut to show biophysical and socioeconomic failures, and to identify cultural indicators that align with degrowth practices. Czechia, Estonia, and Spain are chosen for the analysis primarily because of data availability. All three countries fail to meet more than half of the biophysical thresholds and exceed the carbon emissions boundary. Czechia and Spain exceed all socioeconomic boundaries and fail to meet thresholds, while Estonia exceeds most boundaries and fails to meet thresholds. All three countries need to reduce consumption, and cultural indicators can suggest whether or not countries would be accepting of degrowth policies. Spain performs better in both cultural boundaries and thresholds such as global environmentalism than either of the other two countries. Czechia and Estonia far surpass the boundaries in the climate change nonchalance and anthropocentrism indicators. The degrowth movement should concentrate effort on garnering passive consent by targeting areas such as anthropocentrism, global environmentalism, and climate change nonchalance. Spain emerges as a country more likely to accept degrowth policies, despite this, none of the countries meet all cultural indicators.

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