Adam Smith and the Climate Crisis | The Future of Growth | The Radical Old Idea with Prof. Tim Jackson

What would Adam Smith have thought about the climate crisis?

On 14th July 2021, GEFI were joined by Prof. Tim Jackson, Director of CUSP | Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity for a conversation with Kaisie Rayner FRSA, Climate Change Lead at Royal London as part of our Radical Old Idea series, platform inspired by the Scottish Enlightenment

The session started in an appropriate place: Adam Smith, one of the key figures of the movement. As Prof. Tim Jackson – a leading expert on sustainable economics – explained, the legacy of Adam Smith has been “used and abused” by free-market capitalism. Smith did not believe in an unregulated lassez-faire model of the economy, but was responding to the conditions of his time, where governments heavily restricted imports and exports to advantage special interests.

A wide-ranging conversation between the pair was centred on Prof. Jackson’s latest book, Post Growth: Life After Capitalism (, as well as his earlier, more technical work, Prosperity Without Growth.