Economics has, since Malthus and Ricardo, had something to say about the relationship between growth and natural resources. However, not until the 1980s did the environmental economics of development become an area of major interest and research, sparked by the Brundtland report on Our Common Future (WCED 1987), which promoted sustainable development as a universal goal. The 1980s also witnessed a shift in emphasis from depletion of exhaustible resources to problems related to degradation of renewable resources. The debate on environmental sustainability has profoundly impacted on international environmental concern and rhetoric as well as on external aid funding for environmental purposes.