Dn121 Tma07

Topics: Economics, Sustainability, Gross domestic product Pages: 5 (1467 words) Published: April 7, 2013
The relationship between economic growth and the environment. Contents
1- Introduction
2- Economic growth
2.1. An economy explained
2.2. Economys changing
3- Perception that economic growth affects the environment
3.1. Pollution
3.2. Wasteful trade
4- Perception that economic growth holds positives for our environment
4.1. Innovation
4.2. The 'weightless' economy
4.3. Exporting the blame
5- The idea of a 'trade-off' between economic growth and the environment
5.1. 'Trade-off'
6- Conclusion
7- References

1. Introduction
It is often argued that growth is an important factor contributing to the ability to maintain and improve standards of living, whilst maintaining a bright future for our economy. Economic growth is often seen as an 'answer', an element that many governments agree both developed and under-developed countries should strive for. A shortcoming of this idea is the detrimental effects that economic success causes to the environment. In this report I will use the UK economy as an example and examine the perception that economic growth is bad for the environment, as well as the counter argument that economic growth can hold positives for our environment. 2. Economic growth

2.1. An economy explained
An economy is a way of assessing and measuring the material wealth and resources of a country or region, with particular attention to the production and consumption of goods. Within the UK, economies can vary in different regions, and economies can be based on a situation as small as a household, right up to a global basis. The UK is a developed economy, meaning its inhabitants, on average, have high levels of income comparitive to other countries in the world. The United Kingdom is also an open economy, which allows its citizens to trade goods and services on an international level, with businesses and individuals in other companies. 2.2. Economys changing

The assessment of the size of an economy is heavily reliant on the gross domestic product of the area. When an economy is in decline, production and trade activity is reduced, and a fall in GDP becomes recognisable. When an economy grows, its means there is an "increase in the output of an economy over time, as measured by the rate of increase in GDP" (Fribbance, 2009, p.30) This basically means there is an increase in the amount of goods and services produced, which results in an increase in the growth of national income. 3. Perception that economic growth affects the environment

3.1. Pollution
When economic production increases, as does pollution. This is because of the ecological footprint of factories producing more than before, as well as the increased need of transportation of raw materials to the factory and the energy used to export goods from the factory. The increase in production is in response to the consumer demand during this time of economic growth. When economies are growing, the citizens in them have more disposable income, therefore become more likely to buy luxury goods such as new technology and new motor vehicles. Citizens also become more likely to travel using aeroplanes, which also tends to increase the amount of pollution. 3.2. Wasteful trade

Nef (New Environment Foundation) believe that the pattern of commonly international trading has contributed to higher greenhouse gas emissions from transport with little benefit for the consumers. An example of this aptly called 'wasteful trade' is that during 2006, 'the UK exported 15,845 tonnes of chocolate covered waffles and wafers, but imported 14,137 tonnes' while '20 tonnes of mineral water was exported by the UK to Australia, while the UK imported 21 tonnes' and 'thirty-four tonnes of vacuum cleaners went from the UK to Canada with 47 tonnes travelling the other way.' (BBC Online cited in Fribbance, 2009, p.34) Supporters of free international trading may say that the trades take place on the grounds of cost efficiency and consumer choice. If we were to...
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