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Environmentally Friendly Development: A Primary Objective of Development

Aris Ananta

Background and Objectives

Environmental objectives are sometimes seen as contradictory to development objectives. We hear how environmental sustainability is said to  hamper economic growth, and a trade-off is often said to exist  between the two.  This question of trade-off arises because we  equate economic growth as development, that economic growth is the primary objective of development.

However,  we  should realize that economic growth is not one of the objectives of development. Economic growth is only of the means (though important) to achieve the objectives of development. At the same time, environmental sustainability is one of the  important objectives of development. The other two important objectives of development are people centred development and justice.  With this framework, economic growth is supposed to create environmental sustainability, people centred development and justice. If economic growth cannot help achieving these objectives, then we should lower the economic growth.

This note is a critique to the mainstream economic analysis which focuses on economic growth. It discusses the three objectives  of development in more details, especially showing the contrasting difference with the mainstream economic analysis, often taught in many faculties/ departments of economic worldwide. It then  proposes some  statistics needed to monitor development using these three objectives. Finally, it concludes that greediness (murko, in Javanese) is the source of many crises now threatening the world, including the threat from global warming.

Concluding Remarks

There are many ways to create an environmentally friendly development. First is to change the development paradigm. We need a new development paradigm, which puts environment sustainability as an important objective of development, and not simply as a side effect of development. Second is to engineer (or the market, to campaign) environmentally friendly behaviour. Environmentally friendly behaviour should be made a trendy behaviour. People worldwide should be aware not to consume any goods and services which are produced using materials and/ or processes which are not environmentally friendly.  Third, we should bring business to create environmentally friendly behaviour. We should show to the business communities that  green business, a business which creates environment sustainability,  is a lucrative business. Fourth, the government should provide environmentally friendly employment opportunities, so that people can have choices.  Much higher taxes should be levied for all economic activities that are not environmentally friendly. Even, the activities can be banned. Fifth, universities should put environmentally friendly activities in all of their curriculums. The faculties/ departments of economics should change their teaching from GDP oriented development, to the one with three objectives of development (including environmentally friendly development).

For a complete note, please open Environmentally Friendly Development

Related topics:

“Population Dynamics and Environment Sustainability”

“Green Economy and Business”

Filed under: economy, English, , , ,

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