Structural Imbalance

  • Edward B. Barbier


As previous chapters have explored, there is a growing structural imbalance in the world economy, which has at its core a fundamental misalignment between our exploitation of nature and the creation of economic wealth. One aspect of this misalignment is that rich and large emerging market economies become carbon-dependent, whereas the majority of low and middle-income countries are resource-dependent. Another is the increasing dependence on exploiting more natural resources, such as fossil fuels, minerals, forests and non-renewable material use. But the most dramatic declines in recent decades have been in ecological capital — ecosystems such as wetlands, coral reefs, grasslands and freshwater systems that also provide valuable goods and services to economies. In addition, with greenhouse gas emissions continuing to grow, the Earth’s ability to absorb these emissions is diminishing.


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Copyright information

© Edward B. Barbier 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward B. Barbier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WyomingUSA

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