Partha Dasgupta, Emeritus Professor, University of Cambridge
Robert Holzmann, Governor, Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Robert Stehrer, Scientific Director, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)
Date and time
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 4:00 pm (CET)
Online event hosted via WebEx
This year’s Global Economy Lecture will be given by Partha Dasgupta, Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge. Partha Dasgupta’s research interests include the economics of poverty and nutrition and environmental economics. Recently he published “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review,” an independent, global review on the economics of biodiversity that was submitted to the UK Treasury in February 2021.
It has now become customary to view humanity’s overreach on the biosphere through the twin lenses of climate change and biodiversity loss. An enormous body of literature, emanating not only from governments, but also academia, NGOs and international organizations, has studied ways to eliminate the gap that now exists between what we demand from Nature and Nature’s ability to meet that demand on a sustainable basis. These studies advocate three sets of changes to our behavior: (1) Shift our consumption and investment activities toward those that make fewer demands on Nature’s goods and services. (2) Invest in Nature to raise Nature’s ability to supply those goods and services. (3) Invest in technologies (e.g., clean energy) that enable us to transform Nature’s goods and services into final products more efficiently. The studies have thus been framed from the perspectives of what may be called the consumption-environment nexus. Unfortunately, even though population is also a factor in climate change and biodiversity loss, its role in our overreach on the biosphere remains missing in discussions. “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review” is the first comprehensive study to have reminded us that the size and distribution of the human population is as salient a factor in humanity’s demand overreach as the character of our consumption and investment activities. The study has shown that the correct frame of reference for understanding the processes that have led to the overreach is the population-consumption-environment nexus. As illustration the Dasgupta Review has pointed to high population growth rates in some of the world’s poorest regions as being of especial concern for the future prospect of people in those very regions.
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