Edited by Ekko C. Van Ierland, Jan van der Straaten and Herman Vollebergh
Chapter 4: Key issues in environmental economics
Paul Ekins 1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter I present what seem to me to be some key issues in environmental economics, referring to the main ways I think Roeﬁe Hueting, and many other people, have contributed to the understanding of these issues. Inevitably I also draw on some of my early, and more recent, work (for example Ekins and Max-Neef, 1992; Ekins, 2000). Doubtless I will not mention many of Roeﬁe’s works that might be mentioned in this chapter. I may also overlook other contributions that have been so seminal to the way my thinking has developed that I now regard them as my own. I can only ask Roeﬁe and any others who ﬁnd this to be so to forgive me, in the knowledge that my principal concern in this chapter has been to try to get the ideas across rather than reconstruct their genesis. It is Herman Daly who has consistently stressed the importance of ‘preanalytic vision’ in any consideration of environment-economy relations (see, for example, Daly, 1996, p.6), and Section 2 of this chapter sets out the pre-analytic vision on which the subsequent discussion is based. Section 3 introduces the idea of the environment as natural capital, which has played a fundamental role in much of the recent environmental-economics literature, and places it in the context of a four-capital model of wealth creation. Capital, of course, is a stock concept. One of Roeﬁe Hueting’s most important contributions to environmental economic analysis was to...
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