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Beyond GDP

Measuring progress, true wealth, and well-being

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Policy documents

European Commission Staff Working Document on "Progress on 'GDP and beyond' actions"

In August 2013, the EC publishes the Staff Working Document on "Progress on 'GDP and beyond' actions" (and its Annexes ). The GDP and beyond roadmap adopted in 2009 aims to complement GDP with high level indicators reflecting issues such as environmental protection , quality of life and social cohesion. The roadmap also puts emphasis on the timeliness and robustness of these indicators which are necessary to inform policy making.

The report produced by the Commission reviews the actions undertaken. Progress has been made over the last 3 to 5 years in the development of environmental summary indicators. Two summary indices on environmental pressures at EU level and on the global environmental impacts of EU consumption are being developed and tested.

On the quality of life and social side headline indicators and indices as well as a solid basis to provide objective information on quality of life and wellbeing are now available. In particular progress towards poverty eradication is now followed using an aggregate indicator measuring" people at risk of poverty or social exclusion" while the European statistical system has developed its wide ranging EU statistics on income and living conditions

Progress has also been made by Eurostat and EEA on timeliness, with "early estimates" of key environmental indicators sufficiently accurate to inform policy decisions. The system of national accounts is being extended to environmental and social issues to provide a sound basis for indicator production. A first regulation adopted in 2011 contains three modules: air emissions, environmentally related taxes and material flow account, while a second regulation due for adoption at the end of 2013 would include physical energy flow, environmental goods and services and environmental protection expenditures.

OECD's Green Growth Strategy 2011

In October 2011, the OECD delivered a Green Growth Strategy to support long term national and international efforts to achieve green growth and wellbeing. OECD's work in this area will feed into the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 with the aim to secure political interest in sustainable development.

European Parliament Resolution on GDP and Beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world

On 8 June 2011, the European Parliament adopted its Resolution on GDP and beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world. By and large, the resolution supports the actions proposed by the Commission and stresses the need to develop clear and measurable indicators for measuring medium- and long-term economic and social progress.

OECD's Declaration on Green Growth

In June 2009, the OECD ministers adopted a Declaration of Green Growth. The declaration states that the financial crisis should not delay "crucial decisions for the future of our planet".

EU Roadmap 2009

In August 2009, the European Commission released its policy paper “GDP and beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world" which is available in 22 languages. The paper fulfils the commitment made by the European Commission at the Beyond GDP conference to mould the ideas presented at the conference into a roadmap for action.

Europe 2020 strategy

On 3 March 2010 the European Commission adopted its Europe 2020 strategy, saying: The European Commission will monitor annually the situation on the basis of a set of indicators showing overall progress towards the objective of smart, green and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.