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On the circular bioeconomy and decoupling : implications for sustainable growth
Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)

Date: 2019
Abstract: This paper explores the existing confusion around the conceptual definitions and interpretations of the term circular bioeconomy. The co-existence of diametrically opposite interpretations of the concept indicates lack of a serious discussion of its theoretical foundations. Two narratives on circular bioeconomy are explored in depth: (i) the new economic paradigm based on technological progress (the economics of technological promises) that seeks perpetual economic growth; (ii) an entropic (thermodynamic) narrative that reflects on the limits on economic growth imposed by nature. The latter narrative makes a distinction between primary, secondary and tertiary resource flows and helps to identify what can and cannot be re-circulated within the metabolic pattern of social-ecological systems. Adopting the biophysical view, it becomes clear that the industrial revolution represented a linearization of material and energy flows with the goal to overcome the low pace and density of biological transformations. The required level of productivity of production factors in contemporary developed economies (flows per hour of labor and per hectare of land use) is orders of magnitude larger than the pace and density of supply and sink capacity of natural processes. Relying on nature to ‘close the loop’ will simply slow down the economic process.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/H2020/689669
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/MDM-2015-0552
Note: Unidad de excelencia María de Maeztu MdM-2015-0552
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, la comunicació pública de l'obra i la creació d'obres derivades, fins i tot amb finalitats comercials, sempre i quan es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Subject: Circular economy ; Bioeconomy ; Sustainable growth ; Decoupling ; Social-ecological ystem ; Metabolic pattern ; Linearization ; Fund-flow model
Published in: Ecological Economics, Vol. 162 (August 2019) , p. 143-156, ISSN 0921-8009

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.05.001


14 p, 2.5 MB

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Integrated Assessment: Sociology, Technology and the Environment (IASTE)
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2019-05-08, last modified 2019-07-01



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