A new study has discovered that investing in the environment not only boosts the global economy, but also improves equity for poorer countries.
This study, published by researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Purdue, revealed never-before-seen correlations between economy and environment. By connecting a Purdue-designed global equilibrium economic model (GTAP) with a Stanford-designed ecosystem service model (InVEST), researchers have proven that environmental health and economic health go hand-in-hand.
While both the GTAP and InVEST models have been used by government and non-governmental organizations, the two have never been used in tandem. Tom Hertel, Agricultural Economics Professor at Perdue, commented, “This new study required a detailed understanding of how and where land use patterns change as a result of economic activity, with enough spatial detail to understand environmental consequences of these changes. It is a huge achievement."
Perhaps the most encouraging part of the study is that it provides research-backed support for greater global equity. Poorer countries are most affected when environmentally supported public goods and services are attacked by environmental issues. The hope is that this research will entice policymakers to invest in environmental health – which ends up providing greater support for poorer countries.
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