Australia’s Resource Use Trajectories
AbstractAustralia’s export oriented large natural resources sectors of agriculture and mining, the ways in which large scale services such as nutrition, water, housing, transport and mobility, and energy are organized, as well as the consumption patterns of Australia’s wealthy urban households, create a unique pattern of overall resource use in Australia. In an attempt to contribute to a new environmental information system compatible with economic accounts, we represent Australia’s resource use by employing standard biophysical indicators for resource use developed within the OECD context. We are looking at the last three decades of resource use and the economic, social and environmental implications. We also discuss scenarios of future resource use patterns based on a stocks and flows model of the Australian economy. We argue that current extractive economic patterns have contributed to the recent economic boom in Australia but will eventually lead to negative social and environmental outcomes. While there is currently little evidence of political support for changing the economic focus on export-oriented agriculture and mining industries, there is significant potential for improvements in socio-technological systems, and room for more sustainable household consumption.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems in its series Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series with number 2008-08.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
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natural resources; resource use patterns and dynamics; physical accounting; resource productivity; social and environmental impacts of resource use; Australia;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
- N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2008-06-21 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2008-06-21 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2008-06-21 (Environmental Economics)
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