Looking Beneath the Surface

An Assessment of the Value of Public Support for the Metal Mining Industry in Canada. From MiningWatch Canada.

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BC mining subsidies full report

Around the world, international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), national policy makers and the public are engaging in a pressing debate about the need to promote more sustainable forms of production and consumption. This debate involves questions about the economic value of the environment and the most sustain- able use of ecological resources. It raises questions about social sustainability, and the way that economic activities impact the health and well-being of indi- viduals and communities. The debate on sustainability now informs policy dis- cussions on improving resource conservation, fiscal policies that promote un- sustainable economic practices, the role of subsidies in international trade, environmental tax shifting, and rethinking “distorting methods of calculating national wealth that largely dismiss resource wealth and ecological goods and ser vices.”1

These discussions are taking place in the context of urgent warnings by the OECD that “[a]ll major global ecosystems are in decline”2 and by academics that the economy has already exceeded many ecological limits.3 Resource ex- traction and material consumption are central to these stresses on the bio- sphere…