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A Conceptual Exploration of How the Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Development Is Implicit in the Genuine Progress Indicator

David Cook, Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir and Ingunn Gunnarsdóttir
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David Cook: Faculty of Economics, University of Iceland, Sæmundargötu 2, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland
Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir: Faculty of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Iceland, Sæmundargötu 2, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland
Ingunn Gunnarsdóttir: Landsvirkjun, Háaleitisbraut 68, 103 Reykjavík, Iceland

Energies, 2022, vol. 15, issue 6, 1-0

Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a bridging point between the old, neoclassical, growth-based model of the economy and newer, emerging paradigms, such as the well-being economy. The importance of growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is recognized within the SDGs, however, in addition, Target 19 of Goal 17 advocates the adoption of alternative measures of economic well-being. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) has been found to be the indicator of alternative economic well-being most aligned with the SDGs. On the basis that increased, high-quality energy use leads to expanded macro-economic activity, as measured by GDP, this study conducts a conceptual exploration of the extent to which the pursuit of sustainable energy development (SED) can enhance GPI outcomes. Based on a recent Icelandic GPI study, a total of 46 SED themes were found to be linkable to 16 of its 39 sub-indicators, including 8 cost deductions and 7 benefit additions. The frequency of these was as follows: sustainable energy production (10), sustainable energy consumption (10), energy security (8), nature conservation (8), social benefits (7) and economically efficient energy system (3). The main implication of the study outcomes is that the pursuit of SED is likely to have considerable benefits in terms of fulfilling energy and climate policy, but also co-benefits with regard to the promulgation of economic and societal well-being, as reflected in the GPI. These outcomes, although applicable to Iceland, have ramifications for all nations who are simultaneously striving for greater economic prosperity, whilst tackling climate change and striving to deliver equitable, environmentally sound and resilient energy systems.

Keywords: economic well-being; energy; linkages; sustainability; sustainable development; trade-offs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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