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w24: Ecological economics II

Topic 4

Lecture handout

w24: Biophysical economics and the circular economy [pdf]

Main reading

Biophysical economics

* Biophysical Economics Policy Center (2018), What is biophysical economics?,

BP (2019), BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019, BP, June

Buranyi, S (2018), The plastic backlash: what’s behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference?, The Guardian, Nov 13th

The Economist (2017), Can the world thrive on 100% renewable energy?, The Economist, July 13th

Klitgaard, K (2012), The Essence of Biophysical EconomicsNYSEA Proceedings, Volume 5, pp100-109

Gupta, A and Hall, C (2011), A review of the past and current state of  EROI dataSustainability, v3, pp1796-1809

* Hall, C and Klitgaard, K (2006), The need for a new, biophysical-based paradigm in economics for the second half of the age of oilInternational Journal of Transdisciplinary Research, v1 no.1, pp4-22

* Hall, C, Lambert, J and Balogh, S (2014), EROI of different fuels and the implications for society, Energy Policy, Volume 64, January, Pages 141-152

Hall, C, Balogh, S and Murphy, D (2009), What is the minimum EROI that a sustainable society must have?Energies, v2, pp25-47

Ritchie, H and Roser, M (2019), CO2 and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions,, Dec

Ritchie, H and Roser, M (2018), Energy,, July

Watts, J (2018), IEA accused of undermining global shift from fossil fuels, The Guardian, April 5th

Circular economy

Bayer, Eben (2010),  Are mushrooms the new plastic?, TED Global, July –> ecovative

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2013), Towards the circular economy Vol 2, EMF

Ellen MacArthur Foundation / McKinsey & Co (2014), Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 3: Accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains, EMF

* Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2017a), A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, EMF

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2017b), What is the circular economy?, EMF

European Commission (2020), Circular Economy Action Plan, EU

McDonough, W and Braungart, M (2002), Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things, Northpoint press [see TED talk]

* New Plastics Economy (2019), New plastics economy Global Commitment Spring 2019 report, Mar 3rd

Raworth K (2017), Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, London: Penguin Random House [see the Doughnut Economics YouTube channel as well]

* Webster, K and Johnson, C (2010), Sense & Sustainability: Educating for a circular economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

UN (1987), Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, United Nations


Nguyen, H et al (2014), Remaking the industrial economy, McKinsey Quarterly, Feb

Raymond, T (2012), Ecovative Design: wiping out polystyrene with fungus and farm wasteWired, February