Economics Environmental Essay

Topics: Sustainability, Kyoto Protocol, Emissions trading Pages: 3 (1389 words) Published: July 24, 2014
Assess the effectiveness of economic policies and management in achieving ecologically sustainable development

Ecologically sustainable development refers to maintaining a level of economic growth and quality of life that does not compromise intergenerational equity. The increased importance of this economic objective has been reflected by governments implementing policies to address the issue of resource depletion, climate change, pollution and environmental degradation. This is because depletion of natural resources will ultimately constrain an economy’s long-term growth. The Australian government has been particularly effective in not only implementing environmental management policies that reduce the impact of such issues, it has also effectively raised awareness for these issues.

A trade off exists between economic growth and environmental quality, because economic growth involves the depletion of environmental resources. An increase in economic growth is characterised by an increase in output which involves the use of natural resources such as oil, coal and wood. Therefore growth can result in the depletion of natural resources. Furthermore, the increase in production causes an increase in pollution, which also has negative impacts on environmental quality. This trade off may be seen in the production possibility frontier below.  

PPF diagram.
However, this trade-off is in the short term. In the long term, a deterioration of environmental quality will reduce the productive capacity of the economy and limit economic growth. This has led to governments adding increasing importance to environmental sustainability.

In ensuring environmental sustainability the government addresses several issues. The degradation of the natural environment as a result of pollution is a primary issue. Pollution involves the passing of one’s production costs onto a third party, including untreated rubbish and emissions of chemicals through the production process....
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