Policies to Achieve Sustainable Development

  • Philip LawnEmail author


Given the need to achieve sustainable development to resolve the climate change crisis, a number of sustainable development policies are outlined in this chapter. Before this can be done, it is first explained why achieving sustainable development requires the resolution of three major policy goals: (i) ecological sustainability; (ii) distributional equity; and (iii) allocative efficiency. Secondly, it is explained why resolving these three policy goals requires the application of the following policy instruments: (i) quantitative restrictions (caps) on the rate of resource throughput to achieve ecological sustainability (including explicit restrictions on global greenhouse gas emissions); (ii) transfer systems to achieve a just distribution of income and wealth; and (iii) relative prices determined by interacting demand and supply forces to achieve allocative efficiency. Ecological economists also believe that the policy goals must be resolved in the above order. This means that the sustainability and distributional goals must be resolved prior to letting markets allocate the incoming flow of natural resources. With this in mind, the policies recommended in this chapter cover such broad areas as ecological tax reform; cap-auction-trade systems to effectively manage renewable resources and the generation of pollution (including greenhouse gas emissions); vegetation clearance controls; population stabilisation; maximum income limits and a guaranteed minimum income; labour market and monetary system reforms; market failure; national accounting reforms; foreign aid; and international reforms to overcome the negative side-effects of globalisation.


Sustainable development Policy goals and instruments Ecological sustainability Distributional equity Allocative efficiency National accounts 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders Business SchoolFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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