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Values ​​that count

Katharina Kainz-Traxler, corporAID

Issue 90 - spring 2021

Katharina Kainz-Traxler, corporAID

We still learn that the gross domestic product (GDP) is the "total value of all goods, goods and services that a country produces within a year". If the United Nations has its way, students will soon learn a new definition. Because the contributions of forests, oceans and other ecosystems are to be shown in the GDP in the future. UN Secretary General Guterres speaks of a "historic step" that will transform the view of the value of natural resources.

And that is enormous: The Science Based Targets Network assumes an annual output of 40.000 billion dollars - this corresponds to almost half of the classic GDP - and warns against continuing to budget, i.e. whether there is a replacement planet. In any case, more than 30 countries are experimenting with calculating natural capital. And a framework is currently emerging for companies to align science-based environmental goals with business practices. In any case, GDP growth will lose its horror for nature and the environment.

Photo: Mihai M. Mitrea