Stepping towards Economic Sustainability

Economics as a discipline has always intrigued me.

Sometimes, it’s like an abstract art form – difficult to understand but with powerful real-world implications. Economics uses data to help make sense of the world. It piqued my curiosity to know how the subject can answer big and complex questions such as:

  • Why are few countries rich but others poor?
  • Why do men generally earn more than women?
  • What causes recessions?
  • Why do we ignore information that helps better decision-making?

In modern times, economics plays a crucial role. It provides mechanisms to evaluate the past and present, and predict future trends. We can then apply these studies to our daily lives. Thus, it helps deeply understand problems specific to current scenarios including education, environment, healthcare as well as national security. 

These issues may be microeconomic like ownership of national utilities, environmental valuation, inequality reduction, power of monopoly or externalities. They could also be macroeconomic discussions around solving unemployment, preventing recession, reducing effects of inflation, raising standards of living or even conducting trade. 

While digging deep into this field, I came across the concept of Economic Sustainability. What is that, you ask? 

Economic sustainability is the promotion of economic growth and development while minimizing (or possibly eradicating) the negative impact on social, cultural and environmental constructs. 

Now this was interesting. How would economics be applied to our daily lives to make them sustainable? A little bit of research and I found two resources that helped me understand the concept in more detail. You can find them here: 

  1. Science Direct
  2. Thwink.org

Several people restrict the idea of sustainability to the environment and nature. But this isn’t the case. Economics is an important determinant of sustainability. Economic indicators of sustainability include rate of employment, sales, profitability and other such quantitative indices. Overall, the economics of sustainability delves into the relationship between the economy and environment to make society more conscious. 

Economic sustainability also introduced me to the concept of Green Jobs

Green jobs cater to the ecosystem’s protection and preservation. An example of a green job is an environmental economist. Environmental economists provide consultancy services to public and private organisations. These services include cost-benefit analysis, environmental impact assessments, review of environmental policies from economic perspectives and development of policy options.

Similar careers are pursued by eco-enthusiasts all across the globe today. Green jobs are growing in popularity and demand as people continue to realise their responsibility towards sustainability. These jobs not only help maintain an ecological check but also positively affect the global economy by introducing new employment opportunities. In fact, as per the International Labour Organization (ILO), the shift to a greener economy could potentially create 25 million new jobs globally by 2030 – given that the right policies are in place. 

Today, each individual is part of the overall social construct, trying to adopt a more sustainable way of living. But sustainability doesn’t have to come at an economic cost. Instead, it must be accepted in all spheres of society, leading us to a more secure and holistic future. 

Credits

Author

Drishikha Puri is a second-year student of Jesus and Mary College, Delhi. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Economics and Mathematics. What fascinates her about sustainability is its multidisciplinary nature. When applied to different spheres of life, the essence of sustainability enhance the quality of life of individuals. A perseverant and diligent person, Drishikha hopes to explore the different aspects of economic sustainability to contribute towards a greener and secure future.

Edited by Ayesha Tari

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