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Sustainable Development - Has It Run Its Course?


  • Peter Bartelmus

    () (Bergische Universität WUppertal/ Schumpeter School of Business and Economics)


The cornucopian paradigm of sustainable development eludes quantification and opens the door to advocacy and activism. Moreover, setting normative sustainability targets for an opaque development concept blurs assessment and analysis. Policy integration should focus, therefore, on what is measurable and comparable. Operational concepts of ecological and economic sustainability address the immediate interaction between environment and economy. Material flow balances and greened national accounts define and measure these sustainability concepts. Sustainable development carries some goodwill, but practical policy should tackle the environmental sustainability of economic performance and growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Bartelmus, 2009. "Sustainable Development - Has It Run Its Course?," EIIW Discussion paper disbei162, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwu:eiiwdp:disbei162

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    sustainable development; sustainable economic growth; dematerialization; capital maintenance; environmental accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • 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


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