(Adapted from a previous version in Galician published at El Salto. Translated and adapted by Mark Burton and Salvador Lladó.)“By speaking of degrowth, you don’t win elections”, said Juan Carlos Monedero, one of the most charismatic members of the Spanish political party Podemos, a few years ago. But the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy; Catalan political party) does not seem afraid to present a degrowth program in the next Catalan elections.

In environmentalist circles, the position of many political leaders is often seen as cynical. The reason for that opinion is that despite being aware that the civilizing cul-de-sac in which we find ourselves would require policies for an organized and fair degrowth in the economic sphere, they end up arguing in defense of the maintenance of policies aimed at permanently increasing the value of Gross Domestic Product. Unfortunately, the vast majority of politicians still believe that people would not accept alternative policies and thereby they would be condemned to electoral collapse.  This would be the so-called Carter effect, recalling the electoral defeat of the former US president a few years after a televised speech about the need for sacrifice for the sake of sustainability.  However, there is a political force in Catalunya (recently also with representation in the Spanish Congress)) that has for several years been moving in a very different direction. Thus, including in its electoral programs what they recognize in both their own internal debate and with the scientific and activist community, the need to imagine economies beyond growth.

This is the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), which has just presented a program for its joint candidacy with the Guanyem Catalunya (a small, radical municipalist party), which expressly includes what are explicitly degrowth proposals, within the section on “Ecosocial Transition” as:

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