Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Economics from zero-sum to win-win

Policy makers debate whether responding to climate change can be complementary to economic growth. New research tracking competing economic ideas across the environmental debate shows that climate change is increasingly seen as an opportunity; however, many still argue that growth and climate action are in conflict.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Bäckstrand, K. & Lövbrand, E. J. Environ. Pol. Plan. 21, 519–532 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Lövbrand, E. & Stripple, J. Crit. Policy Stud. 5, 187–200 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Stripple, J. & Bulkeley, H. Governing the Climate: New Approaches to Rationality, Power and Politics (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014).

  4. Meckling, J. & Allan, B. B. Nat. Clim. Change (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nordhaus, W. D. Am. Econ. Rev. 64, 22–26 (1974).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Hartwick, J. M. Am. Econ. Rev. 66, 253–256 (1977).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Barbier, E. B. A Global Green New Deal: Rethinking the Economic Recovery (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010).

  8. Acemoglu, D., Akcigit, U., Hanley, D. & Kerr, W. J. Polit. Econ. 124, 52–104 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Farrell, H. & Quiggin, J. Int. Stud. Quart. 61, 269–283 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Schumpeter, J. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (Harper & Brothers, 1942).

  11. Meadows, D. H., Randers, J. & Meadows, D. Limits to Growth (Universe Books, 1972).

  12. Ostrom, E. Glob. Environ. Chang. 20, 550–557 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Eckersley, R. The Green State (MIT Univ. Press, 2004).

  14. European Commission 2019. A European Green Deal: striving to be the first climate-neutral continent (2020).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul Tobin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tobin, P. Economics from zero-sum to win-win. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 386–387 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing