French Left propose deindustrialization of Europe

Debate increases in Europe over new economic plan that intentionally reverses economic and industrial growth.

Yves Cochet (Green Party), European Parliament Representative.

Yves Cochet, a Green party member from Paris and representative in the European parliament said "we live in an era where growth has met the limits of the planet."

To avert "social chaos", he says Europeans must reduce their power usage and over-consumption in favor of the "environment, sobriety, and de-growth" for "the world, the spirit of the times and a new collective outlook."

"De-growth is a rich idea," said French geographer Jean Chaussade. "The world needs a durable, qualitative growth that is controlled, tamed and reestablishes a balance between those who have too much and those who don't have enough to live."

But Corinne Lepage, the founder and president of CAP 21, a "humanist and environmental" political party in France, believes that the deindustrialization of France and Europe "does not bear hope." She told a group of students at an ecology summit in Nantes last summer that "environmentalism is a solution, not a punishment." Instead, unlike her peers, she advocates a "sustainable macroeconomy" and "entrepreneurial capitalism."

According to Alain Gras, professor of sociology and anthropology at Universite Paris-I, and Philippe Lena, director of research at the Institute for Developmental Research, in a joint-commentary in LeMonde, they wrote that "Corinne Lepage's charge against degrowth is revealing major contradictions that enclose those who refuse to seriously rethink the mechanism and ideology that are at the origin of the actual crisis. A new world-view has yet to be created and so the objectives of the economy will trump reflecting on the benefits of deindustrialization."

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