Publication Details

Beder, S, Costing the Earth: Equity, Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics, New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law, 4, 2000, 227-243. Original journal available here.


The ethical principle of equity, particularly intergenerational equity, is central to the concept of sustainable development. Yet governments all over the world are adopting sustainable development policies that reinforce existing inequities and create new ones. These policies have been strongly influenced by environmental economists of the neoclassical school. They involve monetary valuation of the environment and the use of financial incentives aimed at using market mechanisms to allocate scarce environmental resources. However these policies tend to remove decision-making power from the community and cause some sections of the community to bear more than their fair share of environmental burdens