The cost of natural capital consumption: Accounting for a sustainable world economy
The System for integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) has been criticized in this journal for ignoring the benefits of ecosystem services for human well-being. This paper argues that extended national accounts should not attempt measuring economic welfare. Rather, they could and should assess the environmental sustainability of economic activity as the cost of natural capital consumption. The global application of SEEA concepts and methods demonstrates the feasibility of international green accounting. For the world economy, sustainability costs run to about 3trillion US$ or 6% of world GDP. Large variations at national and regional levels suggest that conventional economic indicators may significantly overstate economic progress in some parts of the world. Data gaps and lack of data comparability affect these first estimates. National and international statistical services should be more aggressive in greening the national accounts. More prudent and more sustainable economic policies might be the result.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bartelmus, Peter, 2007. "SEEA-2003: Accounting for sustainable development?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 613-616, March.
- Boyd, James, 2007. "Nonmarket benefits of nature: What should be counted in green GDP?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 716-723, March.
- Walker, B.H. & Pearson, L., 2007. "A resilience perspective of the SEEA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 708-715, March.
- Bringezu, Stefan & Schutz, Helmut & Steger, Soren & Baudisch, Jan, 2004. "International comparison of resource use and its relation to economic growth: The development of total material requirement, direct material inputs and hidden flows and the structure of TMR," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 97-124, November.
- Bartelmus, Peter, 2003. "Dematerialization and capital maintenance: two sides of the sustainability coin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 61-81, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:6:p:1850-1857. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.