The impact of Scotland‟s economy on the environment : a note on input-output and ecological footprint analysis

Moffatt, Ian and Wiedmann, Thomas and Barrett, John (2005) The impact of Scotland‟s economy on the environment : a note on input-output and ecological footprint analysis. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 30 (3). pp. 37-44. ISSN 0306-7866

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    Abstract

    Several recent papers examining the impact of the Scottish and Jersey economy on the environment have criticised the Ecological Footprint (EF) method and have suggested the use of input-output (IO) analysis instead (McGregor et al., 2004a; McGregor et al., 2004b; Ferguson et al., 2004; Allan et al., 2004). It is argued that “IO can be used to provide a coherent and practical alternative method to the Ecological Footprint of locating the responsibility and source of resource use and waste/pollution” (Allan et al., 2004) and several aspects of the EF methodology are criticised specifically. In this paper we reply to these critiques and discuss the scope and limitations of both the NCLAS as well as the Ecological Footprint. We argue that EF and IO are complementary methods that can be combined in a meaningful way. We suggest a way forward that helps to improve the scientific understanding of key sustainable development issues.