Kuznets or not Kuznets ?

Hello everybody, As I come from a developing country I have searched some documents and theories explaining the link between economic development and sustainable development to understand what kind of environmental challenges Morocco is going to face in the next years.

I realised very quickly that the most popular theory about this topic is the “Environment Kuznets effect”.

One of these studies which main title is “Lorsque le développement perd le nord” (Boutaud et al.) which can be translated by “when then development turns crazy” explain how economists today are using the Kuznets Curve to say that the economic development is probably the only way to have a decent environment (Beckerman).

The environmental Kuznets curve is a reversed U with the income per capita in the horizontal axis and the environmental pressure on the vertical axis. So according to this curve, above a degree of wealth, the pressure on environment is supposed to decrease. The problem is that the theory is absolutely falling down if compared with the reality.

The fact is that the western world is richer than ever and he is polluting more than ever before. So for the moment the environmental Kuznets curve is shaped like an increasing straight line. But this theory is for course not wrong at all but at this rhythm of pollution we will perhaps never reach the inflexion point where pressure on environment begins to decrease. I think that developing countries have today to be supported financially and technologically to jump the first half of the Environmental Kuznets Curve. It will be just a half reversed U (let’s call it the Mehdi’s hope curve for environment) reached by a transfer of knowledge, environmental awareness … from the North to the South.

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