|Sustainable development: Have we got our priorities right?|
|2006-2010, Internacional, Economía verde y salud|
There are no translations available.
Sustainable development remains high on the international agenda, even as policy makers are distracted by the political and iscal fall-out of the global financial crisis. Its continued prominence is illustrated by various countries’ use of fiscal stimulus to fast-track the "greening" of the economy.
For New Zealand, getting its sustainability policy right is important not just because of reputation risks to its trade, but because any regulation should be cost-effective and eficient. This is particularly so in light of New Zealand’s poor economic growth performance, and the need, now more than ever, to ensure value for money from any government expenditure and to avoid fundue impositions on private initiatives.
Given this context, this paper considers New Zealand’s current sustainable development policy in light of international approaches to sustainability which focus on maintaining stocks of natural, physical, institutional and human capital. It examines environmental priorities against the following criteria:
• scale of the value at risk
• immediacy of threat
Of the current environmental priorities, work on urban air quality and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems would be the highest priority. This is because of the high loss of life quality and premature death from the former and the high proportion of species at risk that are unique to New Zealand.