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Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2019
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The Conceptual Strength of Weak Sustainability
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The Conceptual Strength of Weak Sustainability

28 Seiten · 5,12 EUR
(Oktober 2009)

 
Ich bin mit den AGB, insbesondere Punkt 10 (ausschließlich private Nutzung, keine Weitergabe an Dritte), einverstanden und erkenne an, dass meine Bestellung nicht widerrufen werden kann.
 
 

Werner Hediger argues that very weak and strong sustainability are only special cases of the broadest concept of weak sustainability. He comes to the conclusion that “Solow’s concept of intergenerational equity and Daly’s steady-state economy correspond to the stationary case of the weak sustainability approach” Commonly weak sustainability is considered as the sustainability concept developed within neoclassical growth theory. Accordingly, the usual assumption of weak sustainability is that substitution between natural and man-made capital is possible without limits. Taking a broader perspective, Hediger presents weak sustainability as an extension of the integrative value concept that includes also critical limits. By this he intends not just limits of critical natural capital, but also limits of basic human needs, critical social capital, and macroeconomic stability. In his view, therefore, weak sustainability is a broad concept that also includes social and economic aspects which are often disregarded in the debate on strong vs. weak sustainability. Hediger starts with an overview on the roots of sustainability thinking and of traditional concepts of ecological and economic sustainability. He then enters the weak-versus-strong sustainability debate by addressing different sustainability concepts (very weak to very strong). Maintaining consumption over time is thus considered as one extreme (very weak), whereas the idea of no change in bio-physical environment (very strong) refers to the other extreme. Hediger further discusses the inclusion of levels of criticality and social capital into the weak sustainability concept. By drawing on this background, he addresses the main debate on economic growth vs. environmental conservation. Accordingly, he uses capital characteristics for natural assets (a stock which yields a flow) and thus focuses mainly on opportunity costs of environmental change. Afterwards he emphasizes that these characteristics and costs must be included in an integrative evaluation of sustainable resource and ecosystem management principles, for which the concept of weak sustainability provides the most powerful analytical approach.

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Der Autor
Prof. Dr. Werner Hediger
Werner Hediger

is professor of economics and head of Master's studies at the Swiss College of Agriculture SHL Zollikofen/Bern. He holds a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and is a university lecturer (Privatdozent) for resource and environmental economics at the ETH Zurich. He is an associate member of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research on climate (NCCR climate) and has published in different peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes on various issues of sustainability and environmental and natural resources management.