An illustrative application of the CRITINC framework to the UK

Ekins, Paul and Simon, Sandrine (2003). An illustrative application of the CRITINC framework to the UK. Ecological Economics, 44(2-3) pp. 255–275.




This paper sets out an illustrative application to the UK of a new framework for identifying critical natural capital (CNC). This involves classifying the characteristics of natural capital and the environmental functions to which it gives rise, and then defining standards of environmental sustainability for these functions. The framework then relates these functions to the economic system, through the input/output tables, in order to identify the pressures on the functions and hence the extent to which the functions are not being maintained at a sustainable level. The framework is worked though in some detail for water, with less detailed application of it to air, land and habitats. The methodology can be used to identify areas of environmental unsustainability and the processes to which this unsustainability is due, so that policies to move towards sustainability may be more easily identified.

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