Recent years have seen increasing demand for wider application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA), especially SEA of major policies, as a powerful instrument to safeguard the environment during the rapid industrialization and urbanization in China. Debates on SEA are concentrated on its feasibility and effective implementation in practice. This study applies Emergy analysis within the framework of social–economic–natural complex eco-system theory to overcome the limitations of methods used for assessing regional sustainability so far. This established model is tested in the case of Chinese paper industry to assess the sustainability of 5 policy scenarios. The results show that Emergy-based Indices (EbI) are more effective to measure the sustainability of industry complex ecosystem, thus EbI approach is very useful in SEAs on policy scenarios of a given complex ecosystem.
Ren Jing-Ming, Zhang, L., & Wang Ru-song (2010). Measuring the sustainability of policy scenarios: Emergy-based strategic environmental assessment of the Chinese paper industry. Ecological Complexity, 7(2), 156-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2010.04.004