An example of weak sustainability could be mining coal and using it for production of electricity. The concept of weak sustainability still attracts a lot of criticism. Real output is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices, so that the effect of price rises on the value of national output is removed.Sustainable economic growth means a rate of growth which can be maintained without creating other significant economic problems, especially for future generations. Sustainability: an interdisciplinary guide. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! This implies that a fair distribution of resources and assets between generations exists. This idea received more political attention as sustainable development discussions evolved in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Speculations on strong and weak sustainability. With the increase in the awareness of sustainability concept, all these types of capital have started to feature in new approaches of calculation of sustainable growth and development unlike the first neo-classical economic growth models. These species providing no real benefit for society other than a possible value for the knowledge of their continued existence. The formula to calculate the sustainable growth rate is: Where: Retention Rate – [ (Net Income – Dividends) / Net Income) ].  He holds that sustainability only makes sense in its 'strong' form, but that "requires subscribing to a morally repugnant and totally impracticable objective. Solow showed that, given a degree of substitutability between human capital and natural capital, one way to design a sustainable consumption program for an economy is to accumulate man-made capital.  In resource economics, Hartwick's rule defines the amount of investment in human capital that is needed to offset declining stocks of non-renewable resources. Moreover, even if these markets were to exist, there is not any guarantee that they will reflect the accurate value of capital because there is no guarantee that they will function appropriately as defined in economic theory. (2009) weak sustainability approach provides an easy means of measuring sustainability; however, it has very significant limitations that have to be taken into account. This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 15:30. Social capital may be the most difficult category to define. It is clear that new concept should include all types of capital stock (particularly natural capital). Strong sustainability accepts there are certain functions that the environment performs that cannot be duplicated by humans or human made capital. The Brundtland Report, for example, stated that ‘The loss of plant and animal species can greatly limit the options of future generations. • Sustainability is the ability to sustain and hence the desired end product of a lifestyle whereas sustainable development is a growth strategy to minimize carbon footprints to leave the planet for the use of future generations In the strong sustainability approach, on the other hand, each capital stock is assessed separately and it is necessary to keep each of them above the critical level. Capital is used to produce other goods and unlike the raw materials it is not used immediately in the production process. He argues that such a task would involve using resources that could have instead been devoted to more pressing world concerns. Turner (1993) identifies four different kinds of sustainability, ranging from very weak to very strong. • Advance the construction of a normative basis to assess the sustainability of these interactions in a strong perspective. Rennings and Wiggering (1997) state that “Monetary indicators can be characterised as indicators of weak sustainability because they assume that manufactured and natural capital are close substitutes”. Payson (1997) states that the measurement of physical capital by economists is insufficient because it is unclear, metaphysical, underutilized and out of date. World bank environment paper 2. Company Registration No: 4964706. This is because the latter looses the social component of the former, as green growth is based only on the environment and the economy. In this process the fundamental difficulty is measuring the total capital stock accurately. It is probably understatement to suggest that a significant amount of research is still needed into measuring the total capital stock accurately. We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. It is mainly measured in terms of attitudes, moral standards or participation level in social life. Such a relationship can be viewed by analyzing the economic antecedents of politically stable countries in relation to that of countries where the political climate is more unstable. Inter-generational equity assumes each following generation has at least as much capital at its disposal as the preceding generation.  Human (or produced) capital incorporates resources such as infrastructure, labour and knowledge. The integrative sustainability model has the economy completely located within society and society completely located within the environment. Moreover, sometimes it is useless and it may result in even bigger issues because the conversion may not be accurate due to the insufficient conversion methods and lack of data. What is a Green Economy? This measurement approach for human capital is generally used by the analysts. Strong sustainability assumes that the economic and environmental capital is complementary, but not interchangeable. Ranganathan and Talberth (2010) states that in spite of measurement difficulties, accurately measured natural capital stocks for sustainable development is very important because success of economic activity mostly depends on the quantity and quality of natural capital stock. To address the paradox between economic growth and sustainability, we must find a way to balance the two and allow them to coexist. 1st Jan 1970 Although related subjects, sustainable development and sustainability are different concepts. The objective of sustainable development is open to many different interpretations.  However, it only really came into the mainstream in the 1990s within the context of sustainable development discourse. Ekins (1992) classifies capital stock in four different categories: (i) manufactured, (ii) human, (iii) social/organizational, and, (iv) natural capital. The challenge for both weak and strong sustainability approaches is defining the indicators and measuring capital stock adequately.  Concurrent with this extraction, Nauru's inhabitants, over the last few decades of the twentieth century, have enjoyed a high per capita income. Finally, a full assessment of the benefits of economic growth requires consideration of how widely Americans share in that economic growth. *You can also browse our support articles here >. This commitment was demonstrated by the signing of Agenda 21, a global action plan on sustainable development. All work is written to order. & Cobb, W. 1989. The sustainable growth rate is calculated by multiplying the company’s earnings retention rate by its return on equity. There is clearly a trade-off between rapid economic growth today, and growth in the future.  If capital is left constant over time intergenerational equity, and thus Sustainable Development, is achieved. Turner (1993) identifies four different kinds of sustainability, ranging from very weak to very strong. The first difference is that, from sustainable development to green growth, there is a degradation of the objectives. Thus economic models tend to depend on manufactured capital, financial capital and human capital (labour) which are comparatively easy to measure. This point of view can be considered to be flawed since the world would (arguably) not be sustainable if all countries have the resource intensity rate and pollution rate of many industrialised countries. In this sense it is similar to green accounting, which attempts to factor environmental costs into the financial results of operations. Near term, rising COVID-19 infections will dampen growth and could even deepen our economic hole. According to Schuller (2011) human capital is measured by skills that are gained throughout life (by education or experience). Other inadequacies of the paradigm include the difficulties in measuring savings rates and the inherent problems in quantifying the many different attributes and functions of the biophysical world in monetary terms. The two concepts have several differences. A Green Economy can be thought of as an alternative vision for growth and development; one that can generate growth and improvements in people’s lives in ways consistent with sustainable development. It is important to note that, unconditional substitution between the various kinds of capital is allowed within weak sustainability. Tamarack’s Learning Centre exists to empower community changemakers to achieve greater impact. If… According to the definition of the Brundtland Report sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  In this application, Hartwick's rule would state that the pension fund was sufficient capital to offset the depletion of the oil resources. Ecological economists writing on the topic of sustainable development: Different ways of defining sustainable development: Informative work on the concept of strong sustainability: Capital approach to sustainability and intergenerational equity, Role of governance and policy recommendations, Criticisms of the strong vs. weak sustainability model, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, International Society for Ecological Economics, Ecological economics § Weak and strong sustainability, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen § Criticising neoclassical economics (weak versus strong sustainability), "the capital theory approach to sustainability: a critical appraisal", "Defining sustainability: weak sustainability", "Viewpoint: weak versus strong sustainability. Measuring the natural capital is not the sole difficulty to tackle. skills, knowledge) and natural capital (e.g. 2. 1991. We also lose the future clean water supplies which are very prominent part of natural capital. Today, it is clear that there is a need to redefine the sustainability indicators.  This is the focus of the debate between ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ sustainability, and how intergenerational equity is to be achieved. This trend still remains today and therefore exceeds depreciation on both natural and man-made capital. Economic growth is an important macro-economic objective because it enables increased living standards, improved tax revenues and helps to create new jobs. This implies that nature has a right to exist and that it has been borrowed and should be passed on from one generation to the next still intact in its original form. In some cases, green advocates scaling back economic activity. between the natural environment and human well-being (e.g. Case studies of weak sustainability in practice have had both positive and negative results. (2009) point out the inadequacy of frequently used figures to measure the sustainability. An example of strong sustainability could be the manufacturing of office carpet tiles from used car tyres. A substantial phosphate deposit was found on the island in 1900, and now approximately 80% of the island has been rendered uninhabitable after over 100 years of mining. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Main differences between weak and strong sustainability Strong sustainability Weak sustainability Learning Centre. If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! Environmental constraints in Developing countries are characterised by pressures from Population Growth, Inefficient Technology, Weak Governance, Poor Health Sector, Low per capita Income, and Poverty (Popp 2010). In classical economic theory, there are three factors of production: land, labour and capital. Human capital is the other type of capital stock which involves “the knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being” (OECD, 2001, p. 18). Beckerman's influential work concludes that weak sustainability is, “redundant and illogical”. It is clear that representing this kind of values in terms of a monetary unit is almost impossible. According to Stiglitz et.al. VAT Registration No: 842417633. Higher economic growth leads to higher tax revenues and this enables the government can spend more on public services, such as health care and education e.t.c. Daly, H.E. In very weak sustainability, the overall stock of man-made capital and natural capital remains constant over time. Today capital stock has a broader definition. Baumgartner and Quass broaden this definition and state that sustainability focuses on and looks for the balance between both human generations, and, humans and nature. For example, governments should look to promoting "smart growth" through no-nonsense land use planning and subsidies or tax breaks for green development. The reason for this is that its saving rate is so high. Economic growth also plays a role in reducing debt to GDP ratios. The capital approach lends itself to this task. However, this happens due to lack of information and inappropriate use of statistics because traffic jams cause too much use of gas which damages the air quality and decrease the natural capital stock. It is also important to note that strong sustainability does not share the notion of inter-changeability. In this context we must distinguish between the different types of capital. Taking that as well as the acute degradation into account, one could justify using up vast resources in an attempt to preserve certain species from extinction. economic development based on consumption of the exhaustible resources and pollution and on the other hand the development based on the concepts of sustainable development, involving a new mentality on human life and environment. Industrialization does not necessarily equate to sustainability. Thus the difference between investing in the productive capacity of the poorest and providing the economic benefits of development to the poorest. Converting all types of capital stock into a single unit such as money is generally impossible. An example of the benefit to human capital could include increased financial profits. In this model it is assumed that natural capital and manufactured (produced) capital are alike and they can be substituted easily. Looking for a flexible role? " He goes as far to say that he regrets so much time has been wasted on the entire concept of sustainable development. According to Perrlof (2008, p. 600) ‘an externality occurs when a person’s well-being or a firm’s production capability is directly affected by the actions of the other consumers or firms rather than indirectly through changes in prices’.  Contrary to weak sustainability, strong sustainability assumes that "human capital" and "natural capital" are complementary, but not interchangeable. Common, M. & Perrings, C. 1992. A Green Economy promotes a triple bottom line: sustaining and advancing economic, environmental and social well-being. Economic growth occurs when real output increases over time. In weak sustainability approach each type of capital stocks is converted to monetary values, allowing easy conversion and comparison of one type of capital to another. , Another critical weakness of the concept is related to environmental resilience. The aim of governance therefore should be to keep genuine savings above or equal to zero. However, chiefly as a result of the Asian financial crisis, the trust fund was almost entirely wiped out. Thus economists should be very careful when they are developing their production functions to avoid misleading measurements and/or measurement misinterpretation. At its inception, sustainability was interpreted as a requirement to preserve, intact, the environment as we find it today in all its forms. 1992. centre for the management of environmental resources", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Weak_and_strong_sustainability&oldid=994979859, Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from January 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. ), increase in the quantity of resources & improvements in technology or in another way an increase in the value of goods and services produced by every sector of the economy. Economic development includes economic growth, quantified in particular through the GDP, Within the concept it is believed that the amount of capital a generation has at its disposal is decisive for its development. Quantifying the human capital and social capital also have similar problems. Balanced and sustainable economic growth with ... the new agenda, while taking into account differences in national circumstances and capacities and giving national policy space to countries. They state three aspects of sustainability: “(i) justice between humans of different generations, (ii) justice between different humans of the same generation, in particular the present generation, and (iii) justice between humans and nature”. Natural capital covers the stock of environmental assets such as fossil fuels, biodiversity and other ecosystem structures and functions relevant for ecosystem services. Reference this. Because of these reasons there is still a huge gap in measuring the true value of natural capital. However its inadequacy is acknowledged by the experts. However some analysts are sceptical about the usefulness of traditional economic and social indicators as measures of the sustainable development (Hammond et.al, 1995). According to Brekke (1997): “ A development is … said to be weakly sustainable if the development is non- This difficulty appears more clearly while measuring the sustainability in terms of both weak and strong sustainability approaches. For instance, GDP is the most commonly used indicator to assess the development and sustainability. Introduction The challenges facing the world today - climate change, energy supply, growing economic This model can be given as an example of weak sustainability approach. Sustainable economic development is an important component, yet a subset of sustainable development. For instance, if one type of capital can be substituted with another easily this is labelled as very weak sustainability. Moreover it has adverse impacts on human capital which is very important for human well-being. The latter is a much broader concept, which includes components such … scale. Weak sustainability is an idea within environmental economics which states that 'human capital' can substitute 'natural capital'. Thus a decrease in one type of capital, say, natural capital like forest damage can be compensated by an increase in another type of capital like manufactured capital. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. This means that natural resources may decline as long as human capital is increased. Ecological economics, 6: 7-34. The ozone layer is one example of an ecosystem service that is crucial for human existence, forms part of natural capital, but is difficult for humans to duplicate.. TEBB (2009) indicates that there is not any unique and devoted system to measure, monitor and report the natural capital. A long period of economic growth in the post-war period helped reduce the UK debt to GDP ratio. Valuation is important because each type of capital has to be described with a common unit which is possibly money (UN, 2008, p. 5). That is, manufactured goods can last more than one year and generally they cannot be seen as a part of final product. In return it may cause problems in determining the true cost or price of a capital stock. It is a vital input into a strong and sustainable economy. Droughts have substantial impacts on economy, particularly agricultural industry 5.3 Why Australia pursues economic growth Benefits of economic growth Later, Pearce and Atkinson and Hamilton added to Hartwick's rule, by setting out a theoretical and empirical measure of net investment in human and natural capital (and later human capital) that became known as genuine savings. In this paper, we classify sustainability in two groups: weak and strong. This requires that a nation invest all rent earned from exhaustible resources currently extracted. On the other hand some forecasting methods can be used to predict the depreciation. Washington D.C. : Island press. Economic growth is an increase in the production of goods and services in an economy. Thus, they suggest that it is the gross negligence of factors other than savings in measuring sustainability that makes weak sustainability an inappropriate concept. The result is that sustainable development requires the conservation of plant and animal species’. Economic growth just leads to the development of the country whereas sustainable growth is such a development in which, alongwith the country's development a special attention is paid on the use of natural resources being used for that development. Schuller (2011) depicts social capital as networks which mainly contain relationships within and between these networks. According to Pearce and Atkinson's calculations, the Japanese economy is one of the most sustainable economies in the world. Economic Growth is a narrower concept than economic development.It is an increase in a country's real level of national output which can be caused by an increase in the quality of resources (by education etc. Yes, my friend there is a great difference between sustainable growth and economic growth. Martinez-Allier's address concerns over the implications of measuring weak sustainability, after results of work conducted by Pearce & Atkinson in the early 1990s. al. While "Weak Sustainability" supporters mainly believe that these are substitutable, "Strong Sustainability" followers generally contest the possibility of inter-changeability.. Thus, in order to measure the depletion or degradation accurately all mechanism should be taken into account. However, there are some new approaches which include environment to measure the sustainability. The implementation of weak sustainability in governance can be viewed theoretically and practically through Hartwick's rule. Another problem which economists have to tackle when measuring the capital stock is the externality problem. Natural disasters: Sudden floods and cyclones cause ‘supply shocks’ to the economy, lower rates of GDP in the short term. It began as an extension of the neoclassical theory of economic growth, accounting for non-renewable natural resources as a factor of production. on the substitutability between the economy and the environment — or economic goods and services, or “natural capital” and “manufactured capital” —, a debate captured in terms of “weak” vs. “strong” sustainability. Additionally we can enhance this definition by classifying natural capital according to its renewable capacity as renewable and non-renewable. Money from the mining of phosphate enabled the establishment of a trust fund, which was estimated to be as much as $1 billion. This implies sustainable development will not decrease over time. Finally, as stated in UN (1993, p. 8) report “the assets of the natural environment that are-directly or indirectly, actually or potentially- affected by human activities are called natural assets or natural capital”. Other approaches are advocated, including ‘social bequests’, which focus the attention away from neoclassical theory altogether. Making lives of poor people better is not the same as fighting poverty. Economic stability enables other macro-economic objectives to be achieved, such as stable prices and stable and sustainable growth.It also creates the right environment for job creation and a balance of payments.This is largely because stability creates certainty and confidence and this encourages investment in technology and human capital. Pezzy, J. Environmental values, 1: 321-62. Such a relationship can be viewed by analyzing the economic antecedents of politically stable countries in relation to that of countries where the political climate is more unstable. When the problem is phrased as ‘how much’ this always implies that some amount of a resource should be used and some left. With this in mind, weak sustainability can cause extreme sensitivity to either natural disturbances (such as diseases in agriculture with little crop diversity) or economic disturbances (as outlined in the case study of Nauru above). CSERGE working paper GEC. Today the term is frequently used by environmentalists, meaning economic growth that can continue over the long term without creating intolerable pollution or using up all the non-renewable resources. Examples include increasing access to clean drinking water or sanitation in the Third World.  By including all human and biophysical resources under the same heading of ‘capital’, the depleting of fossil fuels, reduction of biodiversity and so forth, are potentially compatible with sustainability.  By their measure, most of the Northern, industrialised countries are deemed sustainable, as is the world economy as a whole. ... found that regional and socio-economic differences in health are large and growing, with major implications for the nation’s wellbeing and economic potential. Talberth (2010) states deforestation problem as an example of this issue. Weak sustainability is an idea within environmental economics which states that 'human capital' can substitute 'natural capital'. This compensation is in the form of sustained human welfare. This high level of sensitivity within regional systems in the face of external factors brings to attention an important inadequacy of weak sustainability.. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. & Haskell, B.J.1992. al. sustainable development is whether we choose to adopt a strong or a weak conception of sustainability. If we decide to use 25% of a rainforest and leave the rest, but then the next time we make a decision we start all over again and use 25% of what's left, and so on, eventually there will be no rainforest left. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences, and issues between the developed and developing nations, to effectively understand the dynamics. In other words, the economy is a subset of society and society is completely dependent upon the environment. We draw upon our 15 years of experience leading community change and advancing practice to support municipalities, funders, non-profits, and community leaders through on-demand coaching and consulting, in-person and digital training, and publications that guide change efforts. History . Evaluating social capital is more complicated than measuring human capital.  The social bequest approach looks at the problem in a different light by changing to what, rather than how much, we leave to future generations. Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher? cooking, lighting, heating, refrigeration and operating boreholes to supply water in some villages) and for industrial purposes (growing the economy by producing other resources using machines that are electricity operated.). Nevertheless, the findings can only be indicative of the actual depletion or degradation measures but no one can guarantee their correctness. Ekins et. This change would "free us from a 'zero-sum' game in which our gain is an automatic loss for future generations". This is illustrated in a well-regarded definition by David Pearce, the author of numerous works on sustainability. In economics, especially in environmental economics, the main concern is defining a new concept for a set of indicators which can provide sustainability. This indicator is “obtained by subtracting the cost of natural resource depletion and environmental degradation from net domestic product” (Glossary, 2011). 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