Published on 18 December 2020
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It’s time to calculate the worth of natural “dividends”

Leading economists from the United Nations and the University of Cambridge met in a bid to end a global fixation with Gross Domestic Product as the primary indicator of economic health.

Leading economists from the University of Cambridge and the United Nations, met on Tuesday 15 December to help launch a “statistical standard” that allows governments and banks to calculate the worth of natural “dividends”: from fish stocks and carbon ‘sinks’ to reduced health burdens from purified air.

They argue that reliance on GDP as a barometer has rendered nature “invisible from national finances, intensifying the biosphere’s destruction by omitting its value from the systems that govern us.” 

A focus on GDP without proper regard for environmental degradation or inequality has been a disaster for global ecosystems and undermined social cohesion,”

Professor Diane Coyle 

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Media coverage:

EurekAlert,, Business Weekly, ScienMag.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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