Thursday, March 01, 2012
GDP is 'not sufficient' for measuring economic wealth
A group of the world's top environmental scientists have backed calls for replacing the gross domestic product (GDP) as a sole measure of a nation's economic wealth with more inclusive indicators that would consider the impact of economic growth on the well-being of the environment. In a report presented at the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) 12th special session of the governing council in Nairobi, Kenya, relying solely on GDP ignores important aspects of a nation's well-being such as sustainable development and threats to the environment. The report, 'Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative to Act', was prepared by laureates of the Blue Planet Prize, known unofficially as the Nobel prize for the environment. "Governments should recognise the serious limitations of GDP as a measure of economic growth and complement it with measures of the five forms of capital, built (produced); natural; human; social; and institutional/financial capital," the report said.