The EU's Green Deal: A Third Alternative to Green Growth and Degrowth?

Marinus Ossewaarde*, Roshnee Ossewaarde-Lowtoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


In December 2019, the European Union introduced its Green Deal in which the ecological crisis is prioritized. In doing so, the EU seems to be breaking with its traditional green growth discourse. Does it? In this article, we seek to find out whether and to what extent the EC indeed has
such a revolutionary cultural, economic and political agenda in mind with its Green Deal. While the green growth discourse presumes a growth-based economy that must become greener, the degrowth discourse questions the growth model and perceives it as ecologically irresponsible. If the European Green Deal represents a third alternative, then it will somehow succeed in prioritizing ecology without welfare loss. To ascertain to what extent the European Green Deal is that third alternative,
three preliminary steps need to be undertaken. The first step consists in a brief exposition of the key features of the traditional green growth discourse, as propounded by the EC and its various allies. Thereafter, the overlaps between the green growth discourse and the European Green Deal are noted.
In the third section, the latter’s divergences from that previous model are highlighted. In the final section, the main question of the article is answered. It is also suggested that specific interpretations and implementations of the European Green Deal could possibly turn the original communication into an alternative to both green growth and degrowth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9825
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2020


  • degrowth
  • European Union
  • Green Deal
  • green growth
  • green technologies
  • power structures


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