Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

European Happy Planet Index

Here's an interesting note from Nic Marks, of nef (the new economics foundation.) Thought you mind find it interesting.

Europe-wide research by nef (the new economics foundation), using a new measure of carbon efficiency and real economic progress reveals that Europe is less efficient today at delivering human well-being than it was 40 years ago.

The European Happy Planet Index: An index of carbon efficiency and well-being in the EU reveals for the first time the carbon efficiency with which 30 European nations produce long, happy lives for their citizens. The ranking reveals a very different picture of the current health and wealth of European nations. nef's analysis, published in association with Friends of the Earth, also looks back over the last 40 years and comes to surprising and worrying conclusions. In an age of climate change, when it is more important than ever that we use our resources efficiently, nef's Index reveals that:

  • Europe as a whole has become less efficient, not more, in translating fossil fuel use into measurable ‘happy-life-years’. The Index reveals that Europe is less carbon efficient now than it was in 1961.
  • Across Europe people report comparable levels of well-being whether their lifestyles imply the need for the resources of six and a half, or just one planet like Earth. The message to politicians is that people are just as likely to lead satisfied lives whether their levels of consumption are very low or high and therefore they should not be afraid of policies to reduce demand.
  • Iceland tops the Index. Scandinavian countries are the most efficient – achieving the highest levels of well-being in Europe at relatively low environmental cost with Sweden and Norway joining Iceland at the top of the HPI table. Iceland’s combination of strong social policies and extensive use of renewable energy demonstrate that living within our environmental means doesn’t mean sacrificing human well-being – in fact, it could even make us happier.
  • The UK comes a poor 21st out of the 30 countries analysed, and nations that have most closely followed the Anglo-Saxon, strongly market-led economic model show up as the least efficient on the Index.

The European Happy Planet Index: An Index of carbon efficiency and well-being

Does happiness have to cost the earth? Read nef's
Happy Planet report to find out.


Post a Comment