The Role of Economic Policy and Environment in Sustainable Development

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Economic policies need to be analyzed within consistent and coherent framework. In the
absence of an operational framework the policy analyst is confronted with an indeterminate model to
work with. This paper intends to offer a specific framework for economic-environment integration to
highlight the role of economic policy and environment in sustainable development for the purpose of
empirical analysis and hypothesis testing. The term was used by the Brundtland report coined what has
become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of
the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable
development is a multidimensional and multidisciplinary concept that has been emerged from a number of
disciplines including economics, ecology, ethics, sociology and political sciences. This notion links the
welfare of generations with the capacity of the biosphere to sustain life. Sustainable development is not
a fixed state but rather a process of change in which resource exploitation, the direction of investment, the
orientation of technological development and institutional change are made consistent with the future as
well as present needs. This report does not consider the range of policy instruments that could be used in
achieving sustainable development outcomes, but focuses on a specific framework for economic -
environment integration with emphasis on the “social” component of sustainable development.