Creating the Law of Environmentally Sustainable Economic Development
30 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2011 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015
Date Written: February 28, 2011
This article argues that a key to sustainability is redirecting the law of economic development. From a historical perspective, sustainable development is an effort to integrate environmental protection and restoration with development. As a result, it is not possible to fully understand sustainable development unless we understand what development means. While that term is reasonably well understood at the international level, our closest analogue in the United States is not development in general but rather economic development.
A great many recently enacted laws that move the United States toward sustainability can be understood as economic development laws. This article describes seven types of such laws. Each type is explained, and examples are provided. By better understanding these laws and their common characteristics, the article argues, we may better understand how to move more rapidly and effectively toward sustainability.
Keywords: sustainable development, sustainability, economic development, development, environmental law, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable communities, Cash for Clunkers, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
JEL Classification: K32, Q01, Q20, Q25, Q28, Q30, Q38, Q48, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation