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Some Links between Sustainability and Well-Being

Mubashir Qasim ()

Working Papers in Economics from University of Waikato

Abstract: Sustainability aims to ensure that people live their lives without compromising the well-being of future generations. Increasing well-being by providing more goods and services to consume is a sustainability challenge. There are two opposing schools of thought on the consumption of natural resources: strong sustainability and weak sustainability. Proponents of strong sustainability emphasize the preservation of natural capital in each period because they argue that it cannot be replaced with any other type of capital. By contrast, weak sustainability scholars argue that natural resource can be consumed to build other forms of capital in which case sustainability requires that the aggregated monetised value of all capital stocks is non-declining or preferably increasing over the time. In this paper, we propose to adopt a balanced approach instead of taking either of these extreme positions where critical natural capital (CNC) limits are defined by strong sustainability and, within that limit, substitutability between various types of capital is allowed for economic efficiency and growth in total wealth. In such frameworks, weak sustainability indicates the minimum sustainability requirement for an economy in which all types of capitals are substitutable under the limits of CNC.

Keywords: sustainable development; weak sustainability; strong sustainability; intergenerational well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 Q00 Q01 Q50 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
Date: 2018-10-29
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