WellBeing News


Sir Partha Dasgupta, an economist at Cambridge University, was commissioned by the UK Department of the Treasurer to produce a report on environmental economics and global sustainability. Sir Partha, assisted by an advisory group of international experts, produced a 600-page volume and a shorter (103-page) summary of the full report. The report emphasizes the distinction between Gross Domestic Production (GDP) measures (which tracks the annual flow of resources) and national Wealth (which values the total asset base) and argues that the world should be paying far more attention to wealth, including the wealth provided by “natural capital assets.” Natural assets are still mostly being ignored even as the world has begun to include other intangible assets (e.g. human capital) in national wealth measures. Sir Partha notes that GDP can be increases over the short term by spending assets but that such a strategy is unsustainable. He also notes that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals do not track national wealth and therefore do not include a measure of sustainability.