For Alessio Terzi there would be no viable alternative to not continue growing because settling for zero growth to contain emissions in a civilization built around fossil fuels would mean to opt for a state of voluntary scarcity - a scenario that people would certainly oppose.
He argued that we should rely on our ingenuity in the same way we have done through the course of history. It would be unrealistic to ask people to reduce consumption of services and products which they became accustomed to. Rather we should seek for replacing these services and products with cleaner options. In this regard he highlighted the importance of the role of technology and innovation for substituting fossil driven with carbon neutral production. In fact, Terzi argued, substitution was how humanity has always dealt with challenges in the past.
The acceleration of the development and deployment of sustainable technology would be key for the way forward and it would be under a capitalist economy that one could find the best conditions for this to succeed. In this context, Terzi mentioned that historically the fastest acceleration of technological revolution has always taken place in capitalist societies. Technological innovation fuelled by the expectations of increasing returns would be the main driver in turning our economy in an engine of decarbonisation.
Terzi further took aim at growth agnostic’s perception that economic growth is an obsession of capitalist societies, and he also refuted the argument that we devote all policies towards the compulsive pursuit of growth. Again, taking a historical perspective, he argued that the desire for growth is a human trait and not merely inherent to capitalism. Capitalism would, however, provide the perfect playing field for innovation and technology to thrive, hence generating more value added than under every other economic order.
In the end it would all come down to changing the quality of economic growth by making capitalism our ally and turning its tools into drivers of green growth in the quest towards a net-zero future.