Keynote Address: Economies in Transition: Some Aspects of Environmental Policy

Sachs, Jeffrey D.

It is such an honor for me to follow in this program such esteemed individuals and close friends. And I am also quite thrilled to be here, in a literal sense, if you would appreciate that in the last 18 hours it's been a 12,000 mile journey to get here on time. When one leaves an afternoon talk in Seoul, stops in Singapore, Bombay, Zurich, and Prague and arrives within a few moments of schedule, I think one can say that some systems in the world are working well. The amazing fact that one can reliably give an afternoon talk in Seoul and a breakfast talk in Prague gives one pause in another way: as fast as economists move, world capital moves even faster; it's just the press of a button. Not only can one shuttle between Seoul and Prague, but Korea and the Czech Republic compete directly for international capital and for markets. When we consider our policy choices and the issues of the day, we have to put them as clearly as possible within the realistic framework of today's world markets and today's possibilities for nations to both grow and improve the environment. And it is in that context that I would like to turn to a specific although very broad part of the current policy agenda: not the question of global cooperation, but the more specific set of issues involved in the transition economies of this region.

Geographic Areas


More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth Institute
Central and Eastern Europe Environmental Economics and Policy Project
Environment Discussion Paper, 1
Published Here
September 28, 2009


Keynote address to the Workshop on Economic Instruments for Sustainable Development, Pruhonice, Czech Republic, January 12-14, 1995.