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Sustainable Growth Enables Sustainable Development

5 August 2002

Sustainable Growth Enables Sustainable Development

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s apparent dismissal of a sustainable growth strategy deserves closer examination, says Business NZ CEO Simon Carlaw.

“Before jettisoning the clarity of a balanced, sustainable growth strategy (which New Zealand has yet to deliver on) for “sustainable development”, more solid evidence is required as to how “sustainable development” might be achieved and maintained.

“Comparisons with Denmark or the Netherlands skirt the reality that higher economic growth allows more expenditure on social and environmental goals. Denmark and the Netherlands remain at 7thand 9th on the OECD’s GDP per capita scale, while NZ languishes at number 21. Denmark can afford to spend $US577 per capita per annum on R&D for example, while New Zealand manages only $US203.

“A sustainable balance of first world economic, social and environmental goals will be achieved by increasing New Zealand’s national income. A balanced, sustainable growth strategy remains the only serious option,” Mr Carlaw said.

Ends

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