Media-Web, June 2013

“"There's no one indicator that can indicate everything. We should have other indicators aside from GDP," Professor Anantha Duraiappah, executive director of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, said at Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2013's session on "Beyond GDP". To him, GDP is not a measure of well-being of society, as public benefits do not grow in line with growth in GDP.

As Simon Kuznets said when he prepared GDP for a US Congress report in 1934, the indicator cannot simplify a complex situation. For one thing, GDP cannot address how national wealth is distributed. If it is too focused on national wealth, a country could see a widening income gap that could destabilise the nation's economic health.” 

“Romania has reserves of shale gas of 1,444 billion cubic metres, estimates the American Administration for information in the domain of energy (EIA) as the reserves of gas are placed at 113 billion cubic metres and the annual consumption is approximately 14 billion cubic metres, Mediafax says.

Romania is placed third in the EU regarding the shale gas reserves after Poland ( 4,190 billion cubic metres) and France ( 3,879 billion cubic metres) according to the EIA report.”

“It was AGM time again last Saturday as the World Development Movement hosted their annual meeting and conference in Leeds. The conference theme was timely, entitled 'Not the G8: A real agenda for global justice', two days before the G8 meeting started in Northern Ireland. There was a vibrant mix of attendees from long time supporters and WDM group members from all over the country, to local university students and lecturers.”

By Colin Hay, “So, do we need growth and might we learn to live without it? Nearly all of us who write regularly for SPERI Comment have at least nodded in the direction of the need to think beyond growth in some way.  But we have typically left it at that, with the question of what ‘beyond growth’ actually means left unresolved. In fact, most of us (and I include myself here) have done rather worse than that – in that having identified the need to think beyond growth we have then reverted to the more familiar (and simpler) task of considering how growth (albeit a more sustainable growth) might be restored to our ailing economies.  We all know this won’t do.”

By Cliff Hague, “I cannot help but reflect on the ways in which the development of Europe’s regions and the policy context has changed since the European Spatial Development Perspective  was agreed by the then 15 member states in 1999. Remember, it was subtitled “Towards balanced and sustainable development of the European Territory”. The three key objectives then were economic and social cohesion; conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage; and more balanced competitiveness across Europe. Fourteen years on, who can claim that these objectives define Europe’s trajectory, or the recent history of Ireland?”

“It would be unforgivable if we did not learn lessons from it. One important lesson is about the sustainability of our behaviour. This financial crisis resulted from unsustainable growth fuelled by financial successes. “We borrowed to keep consuming and to keep the economy going. With hindsight we now know that was not sustainable.” Potocnik claimed part of the problem was that the solutions required politicians to find long term answers but “we punish our politicians who make long term decisions”. “Everything is about short term thinking but that does not work anymore in the new situation,” he added, referring to a resource constrained world.”

By Joseph N. Lekakis & Maria Kousis, University of Crete - “The article constitutes a preliminary attempt to address the effects of the current economic crisis on the Greek environment. The austerity policies and other conditions imposed by the Memoranda of Understanding with the troika of international lenders are undermining the progress made in the pre-crisis years in the framework of European Union (EU) environmental policy. The latter conflicts with the EU’s new priorities in the context of the Greek bailout programme. Examples include the air pollution caused by fuel substitution following a vast increase in heating fuel tax, the escalating environmental conflict related to gold-mining investment, and the crumbling environmental management apparatus. Strictly monitored by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, Greece needs to carefully delineate the trade-offs inherent in the country’s ‘new’ model of growth. Proper policies are needed to avoid natural resource depletion, environmental decay and further national wealth reduction in the years to come.”

By Ana Nieto, IUCN - “In a time of crisis, for biodiversity as much as for our economies, the EU needs to take prompt action and ensure adequate funding for conserving the diversity of nature, says environmental organisation.

Assessments of the European Red List coordinated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature reveal that Europe's biodiversity is declining at alarming rates. A recent analysis shows the number of species threatened at the European Union level in each of the 27 member states. Although the EU has some instruments in place to address this decline – such as the Birds and Habitats Directive and most recently the Biodiversity Strategy – member states should step up their conservation efforts to reverse the current trends.”



For more information, please contact Theodota Nantsou, Head of Policy, WWF Greece, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +30 6940527556


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