Modelling Sustainable Development

Modelling Sustainable Development

Transitions to a Sustainable Future

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Valentina Bosetti, Reyer Gerlagh and Stefan P. Schleicher

This insightful book explores the issue of sustainable development in its more operative and applied sense. Although a great deal of research has addressed potential interpretations and definitions of sustainable development, much of this work is too abstract to offer policy-makers and researchers the feasible and effective guidelines they require. This book redresses the balance.

Chapter 3: An American View of Sustainability

Ray Kopp

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Ray Kopp 3.1 INTRODUCTION Does the concept of sustainable development as originally defined by Brundtland et al. (WCED, 1987) and embodied in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (Council of the European Union, 2006) play a central role in American public policy?1 How does the American view of sustainability compare to the European view? Do Americans use the concept as a guiding principle in the development of public policy beyond issues of the environment and natural resources? Unfortunately, I cannot hope to provide definitive answers to these questions in this brief chapter, but I will share my opinions and let the reader decide whether they contain the elements of credible answers. If opinions are to be the substance of this chapter, then readers should be afforded the means to assess the author. I am an economist and I have spent my entire research career (30-plus years) focused on environment and natural resource issues and have done so at a single research institution whose sole mission is to improve policy-making with respect to those issues. That American institution, Resources for the Future (RFF), was created in 1952, some 35 years before the introduction of the sustainability concept credited to Brundtland. Over the past five decades, RFF researchers have struggled with the very same issues now associated with sustainable development. My opinions are based on my research, those of my colleagues at RFF, and the wider community of scholars working in both applied welfare economics and environmental and resource economics. I have...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information