Monday, February 25, 2008

The Sustainability of Nations

A new working paper by Pilarizetti & van den Bergh published by the Tinbergen Institute in the Netherlands revealed surprisingly high variability in aggregate sustainability rankings when different measurements are used. The paper quantitatively compares three aggregate indicators of sustainability: the World Bank’s ‘Genuine Savings’ (GS) measure, the ‘Ecological Footprint’ (EF) and the ‘Environmental Sustainability Index’ (ESI).

Top African countries:
All: Namibia, Central African Republique
GS: Morocco, Lesotho
EF: Gabon, Mauritania, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia
ESI: Gabon.

Bottom African countries:
All: Algeria, Egypt, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria
GS: Zimbabwe, Sudan, Malawi, Nigeria, Angola, Mauritania, Congo Rep
EF: Libya
ESI: Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan

More interesting are those countries that score well on economic growth as well as sustainability indicators. Gabon and Botswana must be doing something right (see also earlier post Go Gabon).

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