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The effect of natural resources on a sustainable development policy: The approach of non-sustainable externalities

  • Schilling, Markus
  • Chiang, Lichun

The debate about the importance of non-renewable resources for economic development between optimists and pessimists shows that the extensive depletion of non-renewable resources, particularly oil, along with a higher level of consumption could have a significant impact on the economic development of future generations. Based on this debate, this paper proposes criteria under which the depletion of non-renewable resources would create excess costs for future generations. Therefore, this paper aims to answer the question "What will be the impact of the depletion of non-renewable resources on sustainable economic development?" Accordingly, a sustainable development policy appears feasible by minimizing non-sustainable externalities which derive from future externalities that weigh the benefits from a previous employment of natural resources. The research based on qualitative analysis clarifies the reasons for and the extents of taking sustainability into account as well as points to difficulties of implementing policies to time the transition towards a sustainable economic development. Finally, the research shows the implications of this approach for environmental degradation, the depletion of non-renewable resources and energy production.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 990-998

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:990-998
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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