The Impact of Economic Growth on the Environment

Topics: Sustainability, United Nations, Economics Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: January 24, 2014
Reich (2010, p. 1) argues that economic growth leads to increased prosperity in the developed, emerging and developing world. The argument is focused on the negative effects of slow economic growth for the world and the environment. This article provides a unique perspective regarding the impact of growth on environment and approves of economic growth as an indicator of improving environmental and economic conditions of people throughout the globe. This essay provides a critique of the argument made by the writer in support of economic growth.

Critical Review of the Article

The importance of economic growth should be considered in context of the impact of growth on environment. It is observed that economic growth tends to negatively impact the environment during its initial phase but growth leads to positive outcomes over the long-term. The focus of governments is to first improve the economic wellbeing of their citizens and as the economic conditions improve the regulatory authorities direct their attention towards improvement of the environmental conditions. This article correctly suggests that the negative impact of growth on the environment is the result of inadequate and poor implementation of international law regarding the protection of environment (Troy 2011, pp. 1-6). The economic growth resulted in widespread damage to the environment in the developed world including the United States, Japan and the Western Europe during its initial phase; however, the introduction of strict environment regulation in these regions has improved the environmental impact of growth. The spread of education across the developed world has also raised awareness regarding the need for environmental protection and businesses have responded to consumer awareness by becoming increasingly concerned about their footprint on the environment. The consumers in developed world are not willing to purchase goods and services from businesses that fail to demonstrate...

Bibliography: IMF. (2011) World Economic Outlook: April 2011. Washington DC: International Monetary Fund.
Kniivila, M., (2007). Industrial development and economic growth: Implications for poverty reduction and income inequality. New York: United Nations.
ODI., (2008). Pro-poor growth and development. London: Overseas Development Institute.
Reich, R., (2010). Why growth is good?, [internet] 17 Aug
[cited 23/03/2012]
Troy, M., (2011)
United Nations., (2011). World Economic Situation and Prospects. New York: United Nations.
Yueh, L., (2003). China’s economic growth with WTO accession: Is it sustainable? London: Royal Institute of National Affair
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