What is the economy there for?

A recent BBC survey showed that Britons were happier in the 1950s than we are today, despite a threefold increase in wealth.

"Countries that have most closely followed the Anglo-Saxon, strongly market-led economic model show up as the least efficient," commented Nef's policy director, Andrew Simms.

"These findings question what the economy is there for. What is the point if we burn vast quantities of fossil fuels to make, buy and consume ever more stuff without noticeably benefiting our wellbeing?"

Based on its analysis, Nef's prescription for happy European countries with low per-capita carbon footprints includes measures such as:

• mandatory short-term targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
• reducing inequalities in income, education, health and social opportunity
• using the emerging science of wellbeing as a driver of policy

BBC: Emissions don't make Europe happy