Sustainable economic growth is a very broad concept in economics. In broad terms, sustainable economic growth means increasing the total income in a society while decreasing the total level of that income in the process. For many years, the debate has raged as to what constitutes sustainable economic growth. Many people believe that it is not based on any set measure. However, other people base their view on various economic indicators including gross domestic product, unemployment, and inflation.
The problem with many people's definitions of sustainable development is that they fail to consider certain elements. For instance, some people might say that sustainable development means having a balanced economy, with less income going to capital and more going to labor. This would appear to be a very reasonable definition, as the goal of most environmentalists is to have a sustainable and equitable economy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Another aspect that most environmentalists fail to consider is pollution.
The problem with this definition is that it focuses only on the economic benefits of sustainable economic growth. What they fail to mention are the negative environmental impact of pursuing this type of development. Pollution is becoming an even bigger problem than in the past, with many sources of pollution coming from developing countries. For instance, sulfur dioxide is becoming a major problem, as poor air quality has become a leading cause for health problems.
The primary reason behind the high cost of environmental issues is poverty. Those without financial resources do not have the ability to properly finance the development of eco-friendly infrastructure, creating environmental issues along the way. Another issue that many environmentalists speak of is that of overpopulation. If everyone is forcing a smaller planet to produce more environment friendly products, then that will cause a significant reduction in the sustainability of the economy.
Another element that is often left out of sustainable economic growth definition is business practice. Many companies are oriented toward short-term profits and have little concern for the long-term consequences. As a result, a number of environmental issues arise. For instance, many industries burn fossil fuels in order to generate power, causing a large amount of carbon dioxide. In some cases, this means that the burning of coal or oil is contributing to the destruction of the environment.
Many businesses fail to take into consideration the consumption of non-renewable resources when calculating the sustainability of their business practices. By failing to make the necessary changes, a company is actually hurting its own chances for sustainable economic growth. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the need for a sustainable approach and the need for short-term profit. A company that is serious about sustainable economic growth must take into consideration both aspects.
The next time that you are discussing development issues, make sure that you take into account sustainable economics as well. Not . . . . . . only is it more realistic in terms of the current demands on the economy, but it also focuses the discussion on the needs of future generations. It is a much more practical approach to development than trying to solve problems for the present day.
It may be tempting to rely on current economic growth as the watchword for the development of a society, but this isn't always a good idea. Just because a country is growing economically, it doesn't mean that the quality of life is increasing. It might simply mean that the government can spend more money. While governments should not be relied upon for all of humanity's needs, they can provide a foundation for a sustainable economic growth definition. By paying attention to the sustainable economic growth definition laid out by the World Wildlife Fund, you will be ensuring that your actions are in fact helping the planet.