Gross national happiness and sustainability: a comparative study of energy policies, consumption and impacts in Bhutan and Australia
Lamberton, G 2009, 'Gross national happiness and sustainability: a comparative study of energy policies, consumption and impacts in Bhutan and Australia', paper presented to the Fifth International Conference of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, University of Technology, Mauritius, 5-7 January.
This paper provides a comparison of policy and progress in Bhutan toward their national goal of gross national happiness with Australian progress toward sustainability. A comparative study of energy policy, consumption and impacts in Bhutan and Australia contrasts Bhutan’s balanced approach to economic development with Australia’s strong economic performance but lack of overall progress toward sustainability. A set of sustainability indicators provide analytical evidence of stark differences in energy consumption and related economic, social and environmental impacts. Current Government policies and intended future directions in energy policy are also explored showing a vastly different developmental path chosen by Bhutan. Some preliminary observations are provided concerning underlying spiritual and ethical foundations in Bhutan as possible explanation for their chosen path.