chapter  1
Why focus on the connection between the environment and employment?
ByPHILIP LAWN
Pages 21

The growth of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a policy goal pursued by almost every national government.1 In view of rising environmental concerns, most national governments have begun to focus on how a range of economic and social goals can be realised without undermining the ecosphere’s capacity to sustain the economic activity that is central to their achievement – a condition often referred to as ‘sustainable development’. Because the growth of real GDP remains a prime policy objective, it is abundantly clear that two presumptions are being made with respect to sustainable development: (a) the accomplishment of most economic and social goals requires the continued growth of real GDP; and (b) the continued growth of real GDP need not threaten the capacity of the natural environment to sustain the higher output levels deemed necessary to achieve most economic and social goals.