IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ags/aareaj/117742.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is Australia on a sustainability path? Interpreting the clues

Author

Listed:
  • Randall, Alan

Abstract

Genuine savings is a conceptually valid one-sided indicator as to whether Australia is on a weak sustainability path (negative GS would warn that current welfare is unsustainable). The World Bank’s adjusted net savings (ANS) data summarise the available evidence, and by this indicator Australia is muddling along, at best. ANS misses some important pieces of the picture – net depletion of water, soil and biodiversity, and most kinds of pollution damage – and thus overstates Australia’s genuine savings performance. Weak sustainability can be promoted by getting the prices right, and piecemeal efforts are underway via regulatory approaches and resource/ environmental markets of various kinds. Nevertheless, particular resource problems – habitat conservation, biodiversity, climate change and dryland salinity – are likely to also require strong sustainability approaches. A sustainable future involves pushing weak sustainability as far as the body politic permits, invoking precautionary instruments for specific resource crises, and nurturing policy processes that encourage the consensus-building that will be necessary to get it done.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall, Alan, 2008. "Is Australia on a sustainability path? Interpreting the clues," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:117742
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/117742
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    2. Mallick, Seeme & Sinden, J A & Thampapillai, D J, 2000. "The Relationship between Environmentally Sustainable Income, Employment and Wages in Australia," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 231-244, June.
    3. Asheim, Geir B. & Weitzman, Martin L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 233-239, November.
    4. John C. V. Pezzey & Nick Hanley & Nick Hanley & Karen Turner & Dugald Tinch, 2003. "Augmented Sustainability Measures for Scotland," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0302, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
    5. Anton, W.R.Q.Wilma Rose Q. & Deltas, George & Khanna, Madhu, 2004. "Incentives for environmental self-regulation and implications for environmental performance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 632-654, July.
    6. Richard P. C. Brown & John Asafu-Adjaye & Mirko Draca & Anna Straton, 2005. "How Useful Is the Genuine Savings Rate as a Sustainability Indicator for Regions within Countries? Australia and Queensland Compared," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(4), pages 370-388, December.
    7. Michael C. Farmer & Alan Randall, 1997. "Policies for Sustainability: Lessons from an Overlapping Generations Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 608-622.
    8. Kirk Hamilton, 1995. "Sustainable development, the Hartwick rule and optimal growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 393-411, June.
    9. Ferreira, Susana & Vincent, Jeffrey R, 2005. "Genuine Savings: Leading Indicator of Sustainable Development?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 737-754, April.
    10. Kirk Hamilton & John Hartwick, 2005. "Investing exhaustible resource rents and the path of consumption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 615-621, May.
    11. Pannell, David J., 2001. "Dryland salinity: economic, scientific, social and policy dimensions," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(4), December.
    12. Gangadharan, L. & Maitra, P., 1998. "Trends in Natural Resource Commodity Prices in Australia," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 646, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Harris, Michael & Fraser, Iain, 2002. "Natural resource accounting in theory and practice: A critical assessment," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(2), June.
    14. Peter Bardsley, 2003. "Missing Environmental Markets and the Design of," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 891, The University of Melbourne.
    15. Cairns, Robert D., 2006. "On accounting for sustainable development and accounting for the environment," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 211-216, December.
    16. Bjornlund, Henning & McKay, Jennifer, 2002. "Aspects of water markets for developing countries: experiences from Australia, Chile, and the US," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 769-795, October.
    17. Dodo J. Thampapillai & Shandre M. Thangavelu, 2004. "Towards unitary economics: Valuation of environmental capital for environmental stewardship," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 430-442, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Greasley, David & McLaughlin, Eoin & Hanley, Nick & Oxley, Les, 2017. "Australia: a land of missed opportunities?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(06), pages 674-698, December.
    2. Randall, Alan, 2009. "We Already Have Risk Management - Do We Really Need the Precautionary Principle?," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 39-74, August.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:117742. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aaresea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.