Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Accounting for the Sustainability        of the Canadian Economy                                        Week 7: Issue Semi...
Approach1. For Canada…what is the meaning of:  •    Sustainability  •    Economy  •    Accounting / Measurement2. What / h...
What is ‘sustainability’?• What does ‘sustainability’ mean to you?ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marial...
Strong Sustainability• Weak vs. Strong Sustainability• Beyond Strong Sustainability?   – Non-anthropocentric ethics and pr...
Defining Strong Sustainability • “Bruntland”* definition:        – A sustainable development is development               ...
What is the Economy?• From current common usage   – i.e. the monetary / fiscal view of society• Our view…from its etymolog...
What is Measurement    (aka Accounting) in this Context?•   Early approaches were purely economic, i.e. GDP and criticised...
Measurement…Bad News…• Measuring is hard        – Getting consistent and reliable data is hard• People argue about “right”...
Measurement…Good News…•   A lot of work by a lot of people     –   Many based on Agenda 21 from Rio UN Earth Summit 1992• ...
Ranking and Discussion of                       Sustainability Indexes*                               1   Sustainable Soci...
What Are the Gaps?• To have a gap we need to have a target  order to assess the current state!   – Even if it just “more i...
Our Analysis –           Why Are We still Using GDP?                                -                    Choose           ...
Our recommendation to Canada• Pick a measure   – Picking one is more important than which one!   – Pick one that includes:...
QuestionsENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw                                    ...
Bibliography•   See spreadsheet for references to sources for Indexes reviewed•   Bartelmus, Peter (2010). "The Use and Us...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Canadian sustainability indicators (dimou, upward) (final v3.3)

1,403 views

Published on

A presentation, with embedded excel, reviewing Accounting Standards which could replace GDP - for example Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) and Gross National Happiness (GNH).

For my York University / Schulich School of Business Graduate Degree in Environmental Studies / Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment.

I note SlideShare doesn't do a very good job of the PowerPoint animations which makes some of the slides more comprehensible - so suggest you download it. Also allows you to see the speakers notes on many of the slides as well as an embedded excel sheet with lots more details of each of the possible alternatives to GDP.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Canadian sustainability indicators (dimou, upward) (final v3.3)

  1. 1. Accounting for the Sustainability of the Canadian Economy Week 7: Issue Seminar Nov 2, 2010 ES/ENVS 5164 (Please Review Speakers Notes)ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou #208067951, Antony Upward #211135423
  2. 2. Approach1. For Canada…what is the meaning of: • Sustainability • Economy • Accounting / Measurement2. What / how to measure sustainability? • What measures exist? • What are the current gaps? • i.e. how sustainable is Canada today?3. Why are we still using GDP?4. Solutions and Conclusions5. Questions ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 2 2
  3. 3. What is ‘sustainability’?• What does ‘sustainability’ mean to you?ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 3
  4. 4. Strong Sustainability• Weak vs. Strong Sustainability• Beyond Strong Sustainability? – Non-anthropocentric ethics and practices, equality among species, reduction of human population... (Thrasymachus might over right or injustice is justice)• Our View: – Humans need to live within natures carrying capacity over-time, or else... – Four dimensions must be accounted for: • Environment • Equity • Economics • Time – Inter-generationalityENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 4
  5. 5. Defining Strong Sustainability • “Bruntland”* definition: – A sustainable development is development – That meets the needs of the present generation, – That does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs • Weak and oxymoronic • Our View – “Extended” Brundtland† adds: – In which each human being has the opportunity to develop itself in freedom, within a well-balanced society and in harmony with its surroundings. • Stronger…but still problematic • Or – Ehrenfeld‡ who starts from a different place: – The possibility that human and other life will flourish on the planet forever • Multi-systemic (environment, economy, equity), inter-generational, aspirational / inspirational?* United Nations General Assembly of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) “Our Common Future”, 1987† From Sustainable Society Index (http://www.wikiprogress.org/index.php/Sustainable_Society_Index#History)‡ Ehrenfeld, J. (2008). Sustainability by design: a subversive strategy for transforming our consumer culture. New Haven: Yale University Press. ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 5
  6. 6. What is the Economy?• From current common usage – i.e. the monetary / fiscal view of society• Our view…from its etymological roots – i.e. "house hold management" • Presume includes all issues pertaining to the objective of the household - i.e. intergenerational flourishing of its members and the environment that supports its membersENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 6
  7. 7. What is Measurement (aka Accounting) in this Context?• Early approaches were purely economic, i.e. GDP and criticised as such: – Simon Kuznets (1934) “...the welfare of a nation can, therefore, scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income...”• Later approaches add the idea of welfare / happiness – Subjective measure, albeit quantified in economic terms – Economists equate happiness to utility, i.e. revealed preference• Ecological economics – Full integration of environment, equity and economy over time – Debate about if / how to quantify all three in economic terms• Our View: – Balanced measurements of all three over time vital – Economic valuations of • Nature not as precise as biophysical measurements, though latter remains complex and uncertain • Equity add a layer of complexity to an already inexact scienceENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 7
  8. 8. Measurement…Bad News…• Measuring is hard – Getting consistent and reliable data is hard• People argue about “right” / “best” ways• Scientific knowledge* incomplete • What to measure • What level a measure have for sustainability – Although we have some good ideas* Natural, Biological, Systems, Social, Economic ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 8
  9. 9. Measurement…Good News…• A lot of work by a lot of people – Many based on Agenda 21 from Rio UN Earth Summit 1992• Global – United Nations • Indicators of Sustainable Development 96 indicators in 14 groups covering all three dimensions of sustainability • Statistics Division Handbook “brings together economic and environmental information in a common framework to measure the contribution of the environment to the economy and the impact of the economy on the environment “ – World Bank’s “World Development Indicators” • Database of 700 indicators of “the progress of development”, updated annually for 200 countries • 54 indicators available for Canada across all three dimensions of sustainability. • No single index…yet…plans announced last week – WikiProgress / Sustainable Society Index • 6 themes covering all three dimensions• Canada – Lots of criticism of GDP – Lots of work on non-Economic measures – Fewer trying to integrate economic and non-economic – Bias of current Federal Government is evident in (lack of) progress in last 5 yearsENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 9
  10. 10. Ranking and Discussion of Sustainability Indexes* 1 Sustainable Society Index (SSI) Review of Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) Sustainability Indicies 3 Happy Planet Index (HPI)Open Spreadsheet 4 Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)for Details – 2nd Tab 5 Index of Economic Well Being 6 Genuine Savings Rate 7 Weighted Index of Social Progress (WSIP) 8 Gross National Happiness (GNH) 9 Ecological Footprint 10 Environmental Performance Indicator (EPI) 11 Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) 12 ESDI Canada (Development of CESI) 13 GDP (at PPP) 14 Net Domestic Product 15 Economic Well Being 16 Human Development Index (HDI) * Highly subjective: sorted by intergenerational, environment, social/equity ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 10
  11. 11. What Are the Gaps?• To have a gap we need to have a target order to assess the current state! – Even if it just “more is better” (i.e. GDP)• None of the measurement schemes appear to put much weight on proposing values of their index or underlying measures which would, if achieved, lead to a sustainable worldENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 11
  12. 12. Our Analysis – Why Are We still Using GDP? - Choose B - Measures To Pay + Attention To Execute (Selectively!) Plan to + Close Gaps B + + GetDevelop R Take GDP Gets Plan Actions to (more) Measured & Paid R Close Gaps “Scared” MeasurementsMeasures Attention To + - + +  Criticise + + Understand Measures Gaps to Goals Specific Result: The combination of the wide Goals choice of measures (each backed by special interest groups), and the Inter-Generational Increase GDP delays in the loops lead us back to Sustainability the measure we know which also Based loosely on Herzi (2006) happens to be “easy” to calculate “Biosphere Flourishing” and understand - GDP ENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 12
  13. 13. Our recommendation to Canada• Pick a measure – Picking one is more important than which one! – Pick one that includes: intergenerational, includes environment, social and economic dimensions • Sustainable Society Index (SSI) • Happy Planet Index (HPI) • Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)• Necessary but not sufficient – Set goals / policy objectives based on the measures • Will require move to steady state via de-growth – Implement the policy, measure, improve over timeENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 13
  14. 14. QuestionsENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 14
  15. 15. Bibliography• See spreadsheet for references to sources for Indexes reviewed• Bartelmus, Peter (2010). "The Use and Usefulness of Sustainability Economics". Ecological Economics 69 2053–2055.• Birney, Anna, Charlotte Salazar, and Jen Morgan (2008) “How Do We Enable Systems Change for a One Planet Future?” The Journal of Corporate Citizens no.30, p. 23-36.• Ehrenfeld, J. (2008). Sustainability by design: a subversive strategy for transforming our consumer culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.• Hezri, Adnan A.; Dovers, Stephen R. “Sustainability indicators, policy and governance:• Issues for ecological economics” Ecological Economics, 60, p.86-99• Kuznets, Simon, 1934. "National Income, 1929-1932". 73rd US Congress, 2d session, Senate document no. 124, page 7. http://library.bea.gov/u?/SOD,888• Kuznets, Simon. "How To Judge Quality". The New Republic, October 20, 1962• Nielson, H.R. (2010). “The joint discourse reflexive sustainable development: From weak towards strong sustainable development”. Ecological Economics 69, 495- 501.• Pearce, David et al. (1989). “Blueprint for a Green Economy”. London, Earthscan p.1-27.• Rees, William. (1997). “Lets just assume were sustainable”. Dollars and Sense 211 May-June.• Smith, Joseph Wayne and Gary Sauer-Thompson (1998). “Civilizations Wake: Ecology,• Economics and the Roots of Environmental Destruction and Neglect”. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 19 no.6, July.• Zadek, S. (2004). “The civil corporation: the new economy of social citizenship”. Earthscan, LondonENVS5164 Environmental and Ecological Economics , Marialena Dimou, Antony Upw 15

×