Keywords: sustainability guarantee, ecological economics, policy goal, policy instruments, ecological sustainability, sustainable development, full employment, job guarantee, environmental concerns
Achieving ecological sustainability with the introduction of a 'Sustainability Guarantee'
For nearly a decade, a small number of economists have been promoting a Job Guarantee to achieve full employment (Mitchell and Watts, 1997; Wray, 1998). As an ecological economist, I have also been a recent supporter of the Job Guarantee on the basis that: (a) the macroeconomics of the Job Guarantee appear to be sound; (b) unemployment is an inequitable outcome that should not be tolerated; and (c) ecological economists, to their own detriment, have been largely silent on the potential employment implications of moving towards ecological sustainability (Lawn, 2004b). To complement the Job Guarantee, a Sustainability Guarantee is put forward and explained. While the Sustainability Guarantee is nothing intrinsically new in the sense that it involves a number of policy initiatives already outlined by ecological economists, I believe the Sustainability Guarantee can overcome the environmental concerns associated with the Job Guarantee and thus enable ecological sustainability and full employment to be simultaneously achieved.