I am of the belief that the above statement is fundamentally untrue, but what I hope to illustrate through this paper is exactly how strong a relationship exists between economic growth and environmental degradation. Environmental degradation can be defined as the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil, the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. From an ecological/environmental perspective, the argument is often made that economic growth has a negative impact on the environment. This statement is true to a certain extent. It is true in the idea that developing countries that develop through industrialisation are going to produce a lot more pollution, through carbon emissions and use up natural resources such as forestry in order to produce more goods and grow their economy. But with advancements in technology over the last number of decades developing countries can now become more efficient and environmentally conscious than maybe what was possible twenty years ago. In this essay I will also look at the Kuznets curve and how it illustrates that as an economy becomes more and more developed it actually shows countries becoming more environmentally conscious.
Ecologists and environmentalists have an extremely strong interest in economic growth and environmental degradation but of course they are not the only interested parties when it comes to this ongoing argument, but private industries and government decision makers also have a vested interest. The relationship between economic growth, the environment and pollution is the subject of intense public debate. Pollution emissions can frequently be used to indicate the quality of the environment. The natural thought for most people may be to believe that more emissions means a poor environmental quality. Human intuition may lead one to believe that emissions simply increase linearly as an areas economy grows through time.