Measuring Sustainable Development

Measuring Sustainable Development

Integrated Economic, Environmental and Social Frameworks You or your institution have access to this content

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07 July 2004
9789264020139 (PDF) ;9789264020122(print)

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The papers in this conference proceedings address the various conceptual, measurement and statistical policy issues that arise when applying accounting frameworks to the concept of sustainable development.
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  • Accounting Frameworks for Sustainable Development

    Over the last decade, there has been an increasing attitude, both at the national and international level, to complement policy documents and statements with statistical information (for example, describing past and current tendencies in the economy, the society, etc.) and to set quantitative targets for the policy itself. This attitude has obliged statisticians to face new challenges and develop new concepts and new statistical data sets for meeting policy needs. On the other hand, media and the civil society are also demanding more information to assess current trends and evaluate results of various policies. ...

  • Opening Remarks "The Role of the OECD"

    Our Ministers have recognised that OECD countries "bear a special responsibility for leadership on sustainable development worldwide, historically and because of the weight they continue to have in the global economy and environment". It was agreed in Johannesburg that now is the time to move from words to action. The priorities for action are clear: We need to achieve more sustainable consumption and production patterns, to increasingly decouple environmental pressure from economic growth, to ensure sustainable management of natural resources, and to work together in partnership to reduce poverty. But these are easier said than done. In some areas there are major obstacles ...

  • The Role of Institutions in Building Frameworks to Measure Sustainable Development

    This paper focuses on the institutional arrangements that have led recently to a proposal for a national set of environment and sustainable development indicators for Canada.1 The indicators are to be derived from an improved environmental information system, including an expanded set of national accounts with new measures of natural, human and, in principle, social capital. The paper describes the players involved in identifying the indicators, the origins of the initiative, the process by which it unfolded and the institutional lessons learned.

  • Accounting for Sustainability

    When the Brundtland Commission offered its famous definition of sustainable development–"to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"–it presented many challenges to policymakers. Not least among these is the question of how we measure progress towards sustainable development. Without indicators to guide policy, commitments to achieving sustainability risk being no more than fine words on paper. Since the time of the Brundtland Commission there has been a worldwide effort to ...

  • Sustainable National Income and Multiple Indicators for Sustainable Development

    Developing indicators for sustainable development is discussed in the context of a view on sustainability based on experiences with environmental economic modelling. This view coincides with an explanation of a specific indicator, sustainable national income (SNI). The goal of publishing the SNI is to put into perspective the significance of gross national product (GNP) in political opinion-forming and policy-making. We summarise the place of both indicators in economic theory. To this end, sustainability is defined as non-declining welfare. This is almost equivalent to a non-declining volume of national income, or non-declining availability of environmental functions (possibilities to use our physical surroundings). The relevant environmental economic aspects of sustainability ...

  • Accounting for Sustainable Development

    This Working Paper explains the utility of combining monetary accounts with biophysical accounts to track progress towards sustainability. Monetary accounts capture information on the assets that contribute to a nation's wealth, on the assumption that safeguarding wealth is indispensable for maintaining economic vitality. Biophysical accounts consider the uses of domestic and global natural capital, on the assumption that maintaining economic vitality depends on basic ecological services such as renewable and non-renewable resources, waste absorption, and stable climate conditions. Used in tandem, these two measurements provide policymakers with detailed intelligence on economic and ecological viability. Such an approach can also illuminate ...

  • A Few Remarks on Methodological Aspects Related to Sustainable Development

    Over the last few years, environmental and economic literature has focused on a) how and at which rate natural renewable and non-renewable resources should be exploited, b) depletion in environmental quality caused by pressures generated by anthropic activities (pollution, waste and undesired residuals), c) sustainable development as a long run concept, which implies combining lasting development with conditions in social and environmental dimensions in line with intergenerational equity. SD is a complex and multi-domain issue, which has to combine efficiency, equity and intergenerational equity on economic, social and environmental ground. SD definitions can be borrowed from current literature and/or political documents. Available concepts and related theories regarding SD can help understand the main ...

  • Aspects of Sustainability

    This paper discusses the concepts of sustainable development and the main conceptual frameworks that are relevant to measuring sustainability in Australia. It also outlines a number of statistical initiatives across the social, economic and environment fields that are providing insights into aspects of sustainability... This paper presents a proposed approach to the creation of a measurement system for sustainable development. The system uses an expanded notion of capital as its conceptual framework. Its analytical framework is that of the System of National Accounts (SNA) ...

  • A Capital-based Sustainability Accounting Framework for Canada
    This paper presents a proposed approach to the creation of a measurement system for sustainable development.1 The system uses an expanded notion of capital as its conceptual framework. Its analytical framework is that of the System of National Accounts (SNA).
  • A Framework for Estimating Carbon Dioxide Emissions Embodied in International Trade of Goods
    Efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions that may be linked to climate change focus on six green house gases of which carbon dioxide is by far the largest by volume, representing about 80% of the total emissions of these six gases. Almost all carbon dioxide is emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels and OECD countries...
  • Results from the Norwegian Environmental and Economic Accounts and Issues Arising from Comparisons to Other Nordic NAMEA – Air Emission Systems
    A brief introduction of hybrid accounts (NAMEA), highlighting some of the challenges in developing these accounts, provides background information for the more detailed analysis work presented in the paper. Specific Norwegian uses of the hybrid accounts data for the development of national- and industry-level time series with decoupling and emission intensity indicators are presented. When possible, the factors...
  • Accounting for Sustainable Development
    Accounting for sustainable development requires a broadening of scope of the conventional System of National Accounts (SNA; United Nations et al., 1993). This wider perspective is necessary to account for the priceless environmental and social externalities, which are important in a sustainable development context. This paper’s focus is on the Dutch National Accounting Matrix including Environmental Accounts...
  • The New Zealand Experience with Environmental Accounting Frameworks in Measuring Inter-relationships between the Economy Society and the Environment
    New Zealand is carrying out an environmental statistical programme to develop natural resource and sustainability measures. Recent work has concentrated on developing natural resource accounts (for forestry, water, energy and fish) and producing a discussion document on New Zealand Sustainable Development Indicators. This paper discusses the detail of these and other environmental statistics that have...
  • Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting in Italy
    The debate on sustainable development is mainly focused, in Italy, on issues related to the interrelationships between the natural system and the economic system. This occurs both in the sphere of political discussion and in the context of related statistical work.
  • The Danish Environmental Accounts with Examples of Its Use
    The current Danish Environmental Accounts include information on energy and water use, emissions to air, environment taxes and subsidies. Physical and monetary asset accounts for the Danish reserves of oil and natural gas are included in the framework as well. The environmental accounts are linked with the Danish national accounts and inputoutput tables through common classifications and definitions. This facilitates analysis of...
  • Material Flow Accounts and Balances to Derive a Set of Sustainability Indicators
    Natural resources use and efficiency is one of the key policy issues in the Sixth Environmental Action Programme 2001-2010. Furthermore, natural resources use and/or material consumption parameters should be included in a sustainable development indicators system. An integrated environmental and economic accounting system seems...
  • The Role of the National Accounts and its Satellite Systems for the German National Strategy for Sustainable Development
    The general objective of sustainable development (SD) requires a holistic policy approach. Regarding an indicator set for measuring SD in principle two different levels of users and uses have to be distinguished. The indicators itself are on the first hand a communication tool directed to the general public and the media. They are used for describing important problems under a...
  • The Development of Environmental Accounting Frameworks and Indicators for Measuring Sustainability in Japan
    It was in 1991, more than 10 years ago, when several governmental research institutes in cooperation with researchers in universities started an inter-agency research project on environmental accounting and indicators in Japan. Since then, with some changes of participating institutions, the project has been renewed three times, under funding by the...
  • Sustainable Development Indicators for Sweden
    A first set of Swedish Sustainable Development Indicators was published 20011. The publication was made by Statistics Sweden in co-operation with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency for the Ministry of the Environment. Work with the publication was under direction of a steering committee composed of representatives...
  • Social Accounting Matrices and Extended Input-Output Tables
    This paper summarises the historical development of Social Accounting Matrices (SAM) related to input-output tables and describes the linkages between SAM and the input-output framework in the European System of National Accounts. After these introductory remarks, an example of a SAM based on input-output analysis is given...
  • On SAMs According to ESA95
    The increasing integration of economic and social policies in Europe, and across the world, requires increased integration of economic and social statistics. The Handbook on Social Accounting Matrices and Labour Accounts has been written to help the Statistics Offices of EU member states (and, indeed, any other country) to meet this requirement...
  • A Pilot SAM for Italy
    SAMs are an important analysis tool, not only as a coherent accounting structure for National Accounts data, but also as a base for economic modelling since "the structure of each SAM already reflects the relationships represented in an economy-wide model" (SNA93, 20.130).
  • Using Environmental Accounts to Promote Sustainable Development
    Environmental accounts bring together economic and environmental information in a common framework to measure the contribution of the environment to the economy and the impact of the economy on the environment. They enable governments to set priorities, monitor economic policies more precisely, enact more effective environmental regulations and resource management strategies, and design more efficient market...
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