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Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints
INRA—LAMETA, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France
INRA—Scientific Directorate for Agriculture, 147 rue de l'Université, 75338 Paris Cedex 07, France
EconomiX, Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre—La Défense, Bâtiments K et G, 200, Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2010; in revised form: 8 November 2010 / Accepted: 17 November 2010 / Published: 22 November 2010
Abstract: Sustainable development must satisfy the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Although it looks at the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability, this article focuses specifically on an analysis of the concept in conjunction with the use and protection of natural resources. It shows how taking account of environmental goods, including the finite nature of certain natural resources, can change the way economists deal with the issues of growth, development and equity between generations. In this context, after a brief historical perspective on the concept of development, the paper shows how the potential for substitutability between natural and manufactured capital, for example in production technologies, lead to two paradigms, that of weak sustainability and that of strong sustainability. These two approaches are presented in an effort to explain how their merits can be mutually reinforcing.
Keywords: development; sustainable development; weak and strong sustainability; intergenerational equity; natural resources; indicators
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Figuières, C.; Guyomard, H.; Rotillon, G. Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints. Sustainability 2010, 2, 3608-3622.
Figuières C, Guyomard H, Rotillon G. Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints. Sustainability. 2010; 2(11):3608-3622.
Figuières, Charles; Guyomard, Hervé; Rotillon, Gilles. 2010. "Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints." Sustainability 2, no. 11: 3608-3622.