HOW CAN WE MEASURE PROGRESS?
EARTH DEBATES – FLAGSHIP EVENT SERIES IN PREPARATION OF RIO+20
London – 22nd February, 2012 – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a universal measure of a country’s economic activity and output, yet it takes no account of the appreciation or deprecation of a country’s building infrastructure, or of the condition of its natural resources and the ecosystem services provided by the environment, such as crop pollination. Furthermore, GDP provides no measure of the health, wealth, or wellbeing of a country’s population, or how these are distributed across society.
While GDP remains the most important measure for international financing, alternative measures, which take into account natural and social capital, are needed to incentivise investment in a green economy. This raises some key questions: Do alternative measurements of progress exist? Why will measuring things differently lead to changes in what we do?
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