Peter Bartelmus is an honorary professor of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany. At the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi and the UN headquarters in New York, he developed international systems of environmental statistics and accounting. His latest book is “Sustainability Economics: An Introduction”.

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The UN recently held its first conference on happiness and well-being with the stated purpose of “realizing the future we all want.” But what is it we all want? Is it maximum well-being or happiness, or is it just meeting our needs, as proclaimed by the popular definition of sustainable development?1 Happiness and development goals …

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