Natural Capital, Sustainability and Productivity: An Exploration of the Linkages
In: The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity
The issue of sustainability of natural capital and implications for economic growth ranks high in the interests of both policy makers and the general public, as manifested by the intense debate on Canada's ratification of the Kyoto accord. In this chapter, Nancy Olewiler makes an important contribution to the debate on natural resource sustainability by exploring the crucial, but often ignored, role of productivity in the maintenance of natural capital sustainability. Olewiler defines sustainability as the ability of the economy to maintain the flow of production necessary to ensure non-decreasing per capita consumption indefinitely, so future generations can have a standard of living equal to or better than that of the present generation. She makes a critical distinction between the concepts of strong and weak sustainability.
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