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Science would become a more important factor in economic decision-making.

Some businesses, however, are embracing the idea to appeal to consumers demanding more accountability. Supermarkets such as Britain’s Tesco now offer carbon footprints on packaging alongside calorie counts.

Some governments at a national level are embracing green accounting, even if still in piecemeal fashion.

India in April announced plans for green national accounts by 2015, though it’s unclear whether the country’s chaotic bureaucracy can reach that target.

Australia will soon begin taxing carbon dioxide emissions, which Costa Rica has been doing for a decade to fund forest preservation.