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The Burning Question

Climate Change: Can the world economy continue to grow without burning fossil fuels? Or do we all need to cut back on our consumption in order to save the planet?

Climate Change: Can the world economy continue to grow without burning fossil fuels? Or do we all need to cut back on our consumption in order to save the planet?

It is a question that splits the green movement. Justin Rowlatt hosts a fiery debate between two environmentalists on either side of the divide, who have already been tearing chunks out of each other in a very public dispute online.

Michael Liebreich, who runs a clean energy and transportation consultancy in London, says the technological solutions to global warming are within our grasp, and that maintaining economic growth is essential to bringing carbon emissions under control. Meanwhile Tim Jackson, professor of sustainable development at Surrey University, says that it is precisely the world's obsession with economic growth that is dooming Planet Earth to disaster.

(Picture: The sun sets behind an oil and gas platform in the Santa Barbara Channel, California; Credit: David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images)

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18 minutes

Last on

Mon 4 Feb 2019 13:32GMT

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