European Practice and Experience
Edited by Clive George and Colin Kirkpatrick
Chapter 8: How Useful are Computable General Equilibrium Models for Sustainability Impact Assessment?
Serban Scrieciu I. INTRODUCTION The concept and practical implementation of sustainable development has become a key issue for policy agendas, research topics and even business plans. The Brundtland Report (or ‘Our Common Future’) oﬃcially initiated the on-going concern for sustainable development by deﬁning it as a process that ‘seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future’ (Bruntland 1987). The need to provide a comprehensive and reliable analysis of the eﬀects of major policy changes on sustainability outcomes has been increasingly recognized, and has led to the on-going development of integrated methodological or conceptual frameworks for assessing the impact of policy on sustainable development. The sustainability impact assessment (SIA) methodology constitutes a response to this need.1 It represents a relatively new conceptual approach for the ex ante appraisal of the potential impacts of policy reform on sustainable development that has been particularly applied to trade negotiations and trade liberalisation measures.2 The SIA methodology includes major improvements from previous traditional policy assessments in the sense that it adopts an integrated approach covering the economic, environmental and social impacts of policy reforms, it incorporates a consultation process with the active involvement of stakeholders in the assessment process, and, in addition to the identiﬁcation of potential eﬀects, it puts forward accompanying measures that would allow for both the enhancement of positive eﬀects and the mitigation of negative impacts (George and Kirkpatrick 2004a).3 SIA does not...
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