Sustainability, growth and development
AbstractThe Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) encouraged the view that the main threats to the environmental sustainability of development are poverty-driven depletion of environmental resources in the developing world, and consumption-driven pollution of the biosphere by the developed world. Recent work on the empirical relationship between per capita GDP growth and certain indicators of environmental quality seems to contradict this view. Some indicators of local air and water quality first worsen and then improve as per capita incomes rise. This paper reconsiders both these findings, and the empirical relation between environmental quality and measures of poverty, consumption and human development. It finds that deepening poverty at one end of the scale and increasing affluence at the other both have implications for the environment. But these implications are different. Deepening poverty is associated with environmental effects that tend to have immediate and local implications for the health and welfare of the communities concerned. Increasing affluence is associated with environmental effects which are much more widespread and much longer-lasting. The environmental consequences of growth increasingly tend to be displaced on to others – either geographically distant members of the present generation or members of future generations. The paper argues that the relevant question is not whether economic growth has environmental consequences: it is whether those consequences threaten the resilience of the ecological systems on which economic activities depend. Since loss of ecological resilience implies that the economic activities concerned are environmentally unsustainable, it should be a major focus of strategies for sustainable development.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.
Volume (Year): 27 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1/2 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Alberto Ansuategi, 2003. "Economic Growth and Transboundary Pollution in Europe: An Empirical Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(2), pages 305-328, October.
- Daniel Fiorino, 2011. "Explaining national environmental performance: approaches, evidence, and implications," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 367-389, November.
- Michael S. Michael & Sajal Lahiri & Panos Hatzipanayotou, 2008. "Integrated Reforms of Indirect Taxes in the Presence of Pollution," CESifo Working Paper Series 2276, CESifo Group Munich.
- Roca, Jordi & Padilla, Emilio & Farre, Mariona & Galletto, Vittorio, 2001. "Economic growth and atmospheric pollution in Spain: discussing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 85-99, October.
- David Maradan & Anatoli Vassiliev, 2005. "Marginal Costs of Carbon Dioxide Abatement: Empirical Evidence from Cross-Country Analysis," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(III), pages 377-410, September.
- Christoph Lieb, 2004. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve and Flow versus Stock Pollution: The Neglect of Future Damages," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(4), pages 483-506, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Harris).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.