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Natural Resource Economics, Planetary Boundaries and Strong Sustainability

Author

Listed:
  • Edward B. Barbier

    () (Department of Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771, USA)

  • Joanne C. Burgess

    () (Department of Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771, USA)

Abstract

Earth systems science maintains that there are nine “planetary boundaries” that demarcate a sustainable, safe operating space for humankind for essential global sinks and resources. Respecting these planetary boundaries represents the “strong sustainability” perspective in economics, which argues that some natural capital may not be substituted and are inviolate. In addition, the safe operating space defined by these boundaries can be considered a depletable stock. We show that standard tools of natural resource economics for an exhaustible resource can thus be applied, which has implications for optimal use, price paths, technological innovation, and stock externalities. These consequences in turn affect the choice of policies that may be adopted to manage and allocate the safe operating space available for humankind.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward B. Barbier & Joanne C. Burgess, 2017. "Natural Resource Economics, Planetary Boundaries and Strong Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-12, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1858-:d:115230
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sam Fankhauser & Alex Bowen & Raphael Calel & Antoine Dechezlepr�tre & David Grover & James Rydge & Misato Sato, 2012. "Who will win the green race? In search of environmental competitiveness and innovation," GRI Working Papers 94, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Barbier, Edward B. & Burgess, Joanne C., 2017. "Depletion of the global carbon budget: a user cost approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(6), pages 658-673, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jennifer E. Díaz-Correa & Miguel A. López-Navarro, 2018. "Managing Sustainable Hybrid Organisations: A Case Study in the Agricultural Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-17, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    natural capital; natural resource economics; ecological economics; planetary boundaries; strong sustainability; weak sustainability; sustainable development;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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