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UNEP:Inclusive Wealth Report 2014 Measuring progress toward sustainability


National accounts are descriptors. They describe the state of an economy and form the raw material for both assessing performance and prescribing policy. National accounts are meant to contain the kinds of information that are essential for economic evaluation.The system of national accounts currently in use throughout the world, however, suffers from extreme narrowness. Vast quantities of information relevant for economic evaluation do not appear in them. Some don’t because the appropriate data are hard, even impossible, to collect; but others don’t because until recently the theory and practice of economic evaluation didn’t ask for them. The demand for “green national accounts” has arisen because of a growing recognition that contemporary national accounts are an unsatisfactory basis for economic evaluation. The qualifier, “green”, signals that we should be especially concerned about the absence of information on society’s use of the natural environment.


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