Sustainable development expert Professor Tim Jackson last night outlined his views on how Northern Ireland’s economy can move towards a sustainable future at an event hosted by Queen’s University in Belfast.
Prof Jackson, the Sustainable Development Commission’s Economics Commissioner, is the author of the soon to be published book Prosperity Without Growth, in which he argues that unrestricted economic growth led to the current financial crisis.
Speaking ahead of the event Professor Jackson said: “Our reliance on debt to finance the cycle of growth has created a deeply unstable system which has made individuals, families and communities inherently vulnerable to cycles of boom and bust, while increasing consumption does not make us happier.
“It may seem inopportune to be questioning growth, but allegiance to growth is the most dominant feature of an economic and political system that has led us to the brink of disaster. Not to stand back now and question what has happened would be to compound failure with failure: failure of vision with failure of responsibility.
“ The current economic crisis may be painful, but it will be nothing compared to the crises we will face if we continue to grow in a way that threatens the life-support systems on which we rely. Everyone has a role to play in the transition we must make. The Executive and the Assembly here in Northern Ireland must grasp the opportunity provided by this challenge.”