(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

Scott Morrison may have flown home from Glasgow, but other world leaders who haven’t royally embarrassed themselves remain at the COP26 summit as negotiations continue. Their challenge is no less than to arrest widespread, impending destruction of the natural world.

Among some thinkers and climate activists, an idea has risen to prominence: "degrowth". Advocates posit that at global summits, nations should not simply commit to making their economic growth sustainable -- they must be prepared to slash it.

Proponent Jason Hickel defines degrowth as “a planned reduction of energy and resource throughput designed to bring the economy back into balance with the living world”. For Hickel, replacing fossil fuels with renewables, using resources more efficiently, recycling and other "green growth" measures won’t be enough. We need to concertedly reduce the amount of stuff we consume, even if that means having less money to buy it.