Sustainable development is a long-term goal for which there should be broad and growing consensus. Establishment of this goal is fundamentally a social decision about the desirability of a survivable ecological economic system. It entails maintenance of (1) a sustainable scale of the economy relative to its ecological life-support system; (2) a fair distribution of resources and opportunities, not only between the current generation of humans, but also between present and future generations and between humans and other species; and (3) an efficient allocation of resources that adequately accounts for natural capital. Conventional economics (including environmental economics—defined as the application of conventional economics to problems of the environment) has concentrated on the third of these problems (efficient allocation) and therefore has not fully addressed the issue of sustainable development. Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary effort to extend the conventional approach by integrating the natural sciences (especially ecology) and the social sciences (especially economics but also sociology, psychology, political science and others) in order to address the interrelated issues of sustainable scale, fair distribution and efficient allocation in an integrated way.
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- Interaction between Economics and the Environment from the Point of View of Sustainable Development
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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