State of the Union 2011

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates

Sustainable Development in the European Union is the 2011 monitoring report on the EU's sustainable development Strategy (EU SDS).  This is the fourth report charting progress in the implementation of the 2006 strategy which describes how the EU will more effectively meet the challenge of sustainable development.  The report assesses progress towards sustainable development by comparing an evaluation of 11 headline indicators with that of the previous, 2009 report.

The indicators are

real GDP per capita               resource productivity               risk of poverty or social exclusion

employment rate of older workers              life expectancy and healthy life years               greenhouse gas emissions

consumption of renewables              energy consumption of transport relative to GDP               abundance of common birds

conservation of fish stock               official development assistance.

The report argues that

"a direct comparison with the last report is difficult because of the disruptive effect of the economic and financial crisis since 2007 and in order to compensate for the differences, the evaluations of the previous report were revised in line with the datasets and methodologies used in the current report."

However, it seems that the situation has become less favourable for real GDP per capita and the employment of older workers but more favourable for greenhouse gas emissions and official development assistance.  Umm.

As I have already spent too much of my life thinking about indicators, I'm loath to continue now, so I'll content myself with noting the continuing difficulty of settling on an indicator set that seems at all congruent with the idea of sustainable development; and the absence of anything to do with human skills, capabilities, etc. that bear on the other indicators.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response