Handbook for a Sustainable Economy

  • Roberto Bermejo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Critical Review of the Orthodox Economy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 3-17
    3. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 53-67
  3. Principles and Instruments for Sustainability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 85-97
    3. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 99-111
    4. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 129-147
  4. Sustainable Production and Consumption

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 149-149
    2. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 151-171
    3. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 173-193
    4. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 215-234
    5. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 235-249
    6. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 251-268
    7. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 289-308
    8. Roberto Bermejo
      Pages 329-351
  5. Evaluation of Transformability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 353-353
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 369-400

About this book


Since the 1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, the looming prospect of Earth’s changing climate has inspired a broad movement dedicated to a sustainable future. In this Handbook, the author explains the elements of a sustainable economy, the development of which must be undertaken if we are to retain our civilization.

The first section offers a critical analysis of orthodox economical thinking, and the tools used by the conventional economy to solve the “environmental problem.” The author examines the theory and tools of Environmental Economics addressing the commodification of nature, and offers analysis of the theoretical and practical contradictions which arise from attempts to combine environmental protection and free trade.

Part II discusses the principles and tools needed to build a sustainable economy, including the concept of biomimicry as a guiding principle of sustainability, a brief description of the adaptive cycle of ecosystems, and explains the concept of transformability and the factors that determine it. Discussion includes a broad evaluation of the capacity for transformation of National Sustainable Development Strategies, and an analysis of the essential requirements of ecology-based tax reform. Also included is a critical vision of the dominant paradigm of science and technology.

The third section explores sustainable production and consumption, discussing energy, transport, the circular economy of materials, and sustainable consumption. Included are a detailed analysis of factors that determine the limits of fossil fuels, a description of the peak oil structural effect and its sectoral impacts, an overview of a sustainable electric system, and a review of biofuels, electricity and hydrogen. The author concludes that only hydrogen associated to fuel offers a sustainable alternative to oil. Discussion includes a view of the structural causes of the current high-level consumption model through the lens of motivation, provision and access systems, and a detailed description of policies that must be adopted as part of a sustainable consumption strategy.

The final chapter undertakes the task of analyzing the capability of our societies to transform themselves to reach sustainability. The author broadly evaluates each factor, as a prior step to carrying out an overall evaluation, and demonstrates that in order to accomplish a comprehensive analysis, a multidisciplinary group is necessary.


Biomimicry environmental economics sustainable economy sustainable future sustainable production and consumption

Authors and affiliations

  • Roberto Bermejo
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics & Business StudiesUniversity of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics
  • Print ISBN 978-94-017-8980-6
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-8981-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site