Economic Growth and the Environment

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Economic Growth and Environment Introduction Economic growth and the use of environmental resources go hand in hand. No country or economy will be able to sustain economic growth without using the natural resources available in the environment. The constant need for resources is the fuel for economic growth and any country going through a heightened level of economic activity tends to use more resources from the environment. Relationship between economic growth and environment The relationship between the economic growth of a country and the use of its environmental resources is inverted U-shaped. Also known as the Kuznets curve, the rapid pace of economic growth is characterized by depletion of resources as well as accumulation of waste. When the development reaches higher levels, the emphasis is more on information and knowledge-building and the usage of environmental resources stagnates. When the highest level of development is reached, the emphasis is turned to providing a higher quality of people for the residents of the country and this leads to a decrease in the use of environmental resources. Overall, the relationship curve starts off higher, stagnates and then decreases, resulting in an inverted U-shape (Panayotou, 1994). The first part of this relationship is highly evident among developing nations that are looking to strengthen its economic position. These countries, unfortunately, have to extensively tap into their natural resources to achieve sustained
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