The link between sustainable growth, climate change and Marie Kondo may not be obvious at first sight. But if we are to find a viable solution to climate change, we must aim at more than just reducing carbon emissions and switching to cleaner energy. A viable solution will likely involve a different global economic model; one based less on relentless growth in consumption and leverage and more on restraint.

 

Marie Kondo's call for limiting future purchases to items that 'spark joy' may come in useful here (even though throwing out possessions could add to short-term waste). While it will likely be difficult to convince people to part with their old ways and consume less, any method that makes us happy with restraint should be positive for the environment. Less reliance on 'relentless growth' could spark other changes too - in public finance, capital allocation, and the relative performance of different sectors of the economy - resulting in new investment themes for the coming decades.