A better way for countries to track their progress on sustainability

| January 1, 2020

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How can a country tell that it’s making progress on sustainability? How can it work out, from year to year, whether its environment is improving, along with the economy and well-being? This is incredibly difficult. A successful measure must have at least three characteristics: it needs to be based on a comprehensive set of reliable data; it must be accessible to non-specialists; and it has to be updated regularly and presented so that progress (or lack of it) can be seen easily. For decades, researchers and policymakers have been searching for a measure that everyone can agree on. But most efforts, from the Human Development Index to the Genuine Progress Indicator, end up lacking some aspect of those three characteristics.

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