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Economics

Study Notes

Sustainable Growth - 2021 Revision Update

Level:
AS, A Level, IB
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

This revision resource provides two videos exploring the concept of sustainable economic growth.

Sustainable Growth: Environmental Threats

The term 'sustainable' means 'enduring'and 'lasting' and 'to keep in being’. Sustainable growth is growth of national output that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

A key related concept is intergenerational equity

Intergenerational equity in economic contexts, is the concept or idea of fairness or justice between generations.

What kind of economic capacity and capability are we leaving behind for future generations?

Sustainable Growth: Environmental Threats

Sustainable growth: Policy responses

The challenge of achieving sustainable growth is one of the defining economic, social and political issues of the age. In this video we look at some of the policy options geared to improving the trade-off between economic growth and the environmental impact. The crucial aim is to decouple economic activity from the effects on our natural capital.

Can the price mechanism provide viable solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges? Or is there a need for significant, international policy responses to the climate crisis?

What government policy interventions might be effective in making growth more sustainable?

Carbon taxes (a tax per tonne of carbon)

Carbon trading schemes (permits / credits for pollution)

Tougher environmental regulations such as plastic bans

Spending to protect bio-diversity (marine reserves)

Subsidies for scaling up clean energy generation

Investment in sustainable technologies such as off grid solar

Tax relief on research and development initiatives

International co-operation including the 2015 Paris Accord

The trade-off between growth and environmental damage can be addressed with policies that stimulate investment in and use of cleaner renewable energies, measures to encourage recycling and moves towards a circular economy which involves gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system.

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