اندازه گیری توسعه پایدار: برخی شواهد تجربی برای فرانسه از هشت شاخص جایگزینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29331||2008||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10450 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 67, Issue 3, 15 October 2008, Pages 441–456
This paper presents results from a time-series analysis of eight measures of development and/or sustainability for France. The measures chosen are green national net product, Genuine Savings, ecological footprint, Indicator of Sustainable Economic Welfare, Genuine Progress Indicator, Pollution-sensitive Human Development Indicator, Sustainable Human Development Indicator and French Dashboard on Sustainable Development. A theoretical description of each index highlights their advantages and drawbacks, underlining the fact that no indicator is perfect and no one can give an exhaustive view of sustainable development. Therefore, the analysis of various indicators is necessary to evaluate sustainable development with accuracy. Empirical results of measures of well-being show that French development was improving between 1990 and 2000. Concerning sustainability, indicators support different conclusions. It seems that French development was weakly sustainable but unsustainable in the strong sense over the period examined.
In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro underlined the limitations of gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of sustainable development for a country. Indeed, “common indicators such as gross domestic product and measures of different resources or pollution flows do not assess the sustainability of economic systems” (paragraph 40.4 of Agenda 21). This article also points out that “sustainable development indicators must be constructed in order to form a useful basis for decision making”. Therefore, since the beginning of 1990, measures aiming at completing the GDP and limiting its supremacy have been built. This paper lies within the framework of development of indicators of sustainable development. In fact, whereas alternative and competitive measures have been created, none of them is perfect: each index is based on a specific definition and so takes into account only some aspects of sustainable development. Therefore, it is important to begin with a definition of sustainable development. In this paper, I used the widespread definition of the Brundtland Report (Our common Future, 1987): “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It aims at assuring the on-going productivity of exploitable natural resources and conserving all species of fauna and flora”. In my view, two key ideas are expressed in this definition: i) concern for the well-being of future generations and ii) recognition of the bi-directional impacts between economic activity and the state of the environment and natural resources. In this context, sustainable development takes into account human development (in terms of welfare) and sustainability of such development (in terms of condition on the stock of capital). Within this broad definition, two main approaches can be described: weak sustainability and strong sustainability. Although these two views define development as a non-declining level of well-being for future people, the requirement for sustainability is different. Weak sustainability only requires a non-declining combined stock of all capital. It is then possible to substitute between human, man-made and environmental capital. In this approach, natural capital is not different from other resources. The aim is to keep the stock of total capital constant or increasing, whatever the combinations of the three types of capital are. On the contrary, strong sustainability gives an essential position to natural capital. It is a different form of capital without which human life cannot exist. Strong sustainability requires the maintenance of environmental functions and critical natural capital needed for the life of ecosystems. Therefore, models of strong sustainability incorporate real world constraints on the possibility of substitution between man-made, human and environmental capital. Contrary to weak sustainability that focuses on maintaining a combined stock of capital intact, strong sustainability deals with specific environmental functions that ought not to be undermined by economic activity and possible ecological limits to growth. In this context, an indicator of sustainable development must assess human development (i.e. is welfare non-declining?) and sustainability (i.e. is the stock of total capital (weak sustainability approach) or natural capital (strong sustainability view) intact?). However, no single measure does a perfect job at reflecting sustainable development per se. Therefore, it is necessary to look at different indicators of development and sustainability to give a better valuation of the sustainable development of a country. This paper presents results from time-series analysis of eight measures for France. Whereas the green national net product, the Genuine Savings and the ecological footprint are indicators of sustainability, The Indicator of Sustainable Economic Welfare, the Genuine Progress Indicator and the two “green” Human Development Indicators measure national welfare. The French Dashboard on sustainable development is an imperfect assessment of both concepts of sustainable development (i.e. well-being and sustainability). This paper adopts the same methodology as the one used by Hanley et al. (1999).1 These authors calculate seven alternative indicators for Scotland. Whereas the measures are supposed to assess the same phenomena, their results lead to opposing views of the national sustainability. The main aim of my paper is to draw a parallel between the eight measures to determine whether the indexes show a trend towards sustainable development. In other words, what are the results concerning the sustainable development of France emerging from the connection between the eight indicators? To sum up, this article attempts to highlight that the study of a single measure is not sufficient to assess the sustainable development of a country and policies based on the conclusion of only one indicator should not be implemented because the empirical results could be misleading. The remainder of this paper is divided into four sections. Section 2 deals with indicators of sustainability and Section 3 with measures of welfare. Section 4 presents the French Dashboard on sustainable development, an assessment of sustainable development per se. Sections 2, 3 and 4 have the same structure. Firstly, they give a description of each kind of indicator by focusing on the theoretical basis and practical problems. Then, empirical results for France are presented. Finally, Section 5 concludes by confronting opposite trends and presenting missing indicators and research prospects.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has presented data concerning the evolution of eight indicators of development and/or sustainability for France. A theoretical description of each index has highlighted their advantages and drawbacks, underlining the fact that no indicator is perfect and no one can give an exhaustive view of sustainable development. Therefore, the study of a single measure is not sufficient. The analysis of various indicators is necessary to evaluate sustainable development with accuracy. Concerning the development of France, empirical results for ISEW/GPI and the two “green HDI” indicate that French development was improving between 1990 and 2000. However, even if these indexes take into account, yet imperfectly, social conditions and environmental deterioration to assess national well-being, they cannot evaluate national sustainability. Therefore, indicators of sustainability are necessary to complete the study of sustainable development in France. Results show that trends of the various measures do not support the same conclusion about the sustainability of France. Indeed, while the imperfect computations of AENP and GS uphold the idea that French development was weakly sustainable, the analysis of the EF path and the French Dashboard on sustainable development support the opposite idea. Given this different empirical evidence, it seems that French development is weakly sustainable. In this view, the requirement for sustainability is a non-declining combined stock of total capital. If the condition for sustainability is stronger, i.e. the maintenance of environmental functions and critical natural capital, it seems that French development is unsustainable in the strong sense. Note that to estimate each indicator, I attempt to respect the theoretical framework at best. However, given the availability of data, some variables are either approximated or omitted. Therefore, any change of variables or method of assessment leads to significant modification of empirical results and so conclusions. I underlined this effect for three indicators, namely gNNP, GS and SHDI. In this context, the analysis can be completed either by focusing on the sensitivity of indicators to any change in their computations or by calculating missing indicators of sustainability. Indeed, ecological measures such as the net primary productivity, environmental space and material flows are not estimated. Another missing indicator is the sustainable national income (SNI) (Hueting and De Boer, 2001) that combines physical values and a monetary valuation. This measure can be defined as the “maximum attainable level of production and consumption, using the technology of the year under review, whereby the vital functions, which is possible uses, of the physical surroundings remain available forever”. The SNI was estimated for the Netherlands with a general equilibrium model by Gerlagh et al., 2002 and Hofkes et al., 2004. Therefore, it is possible to collect new empirical evidence about the sustainability of France by computing the ecological measures aforementioned and estimating a French SNI. This additional information on the sustainability of France can either support or invalidate the conclusion of this paper about the weak sustainability of French development and its unsustainability in the strong sense.