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53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
The object of this paper is to present an introductory quantitative analysis system on the relationship between the economy and the environment of the different economic sectors. The aim is to quantify the environmental pressures caused by the economy as a comprehensive tool to complement conventional economic indicators (such us GDP) therefore enabling comparisons of sustainable development. This study develops an empirical analysis using Namea (National Accounting including Environmental Accounts), which is a statistical information system allowing the investigation of the pressures placed on the environment by production activities and combines the economic aggregates with related environmental components. The intention is to show the extent to which Namea is a sound basis for understanding economic-environment relationships and for that reason is an aid for policy making. In the first part of the paper, macro-sector environmental impact indicators and environmental efficiencies are compared with the Italian regional average and used as a benchmark for the regions of the Northern Italy that traditionally Piedmont is compared. This is to draw attention to which sectors are more or less eco-efficient. The externalities chosen are those that are more significant for the socio-economic environment (green house effect, acid rain, ozone, lead and dust particles). In addition, the Namea data has been employed for Italy and Piedmont region for 13 sector branches and 5 categories of emission for the year 2005, the only year that both regional and national level data are available. In referring to a regional framework, the analysis is very significant since it allows the investigation to focus on structural and idiosyncratic features compared with national averages. In the last part of the paper there is a complementary analysis for the years 2005-2008 which reconstructs the trend of the economic sectors at a regional level illustrating the relative and absolute de-linking in relation to each emission. In conclusion the paper provides new empirical evidence on regional-national disparities in environmental efficiency in Italy and demonstrates how an analytical exploitation of Namea offers a rich array of insights for regional policy making. Environmental, industrial and sector oriented policy making can derive valuable information from the evidence provided in this study. The paper also expresses the concept of how Namea dataset can be used for decision-making purposes with strategies that follow a sustainable growth path. In order to fulfil this objective, the development and use of integrated economic-environmental indicators are proven to be a valuable resource.
Namea (National Accounting including Environmental Accounts)
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