Human Development Report 2011

Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All

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This report examines the urgent global challenge of sustainable development and its relationship to rising inequality within and among countries. It strives to identify polices that would make development both more sustainable and more equitable. The integral relationship between inequality and unsustainability is recognized. The inequitably apportioned control and consumption of natural resources is a key driver of global warming — and yet those who will suffer most from climate change are disproportionately those least responsible for environmental deterioration. The report seeks to identify ways in which sustainability and equity can be jointly advanced. It examines long-term trends in inequality at national and global levels, and argues why it is essential to promote practices today that will both increase sustainability and reduce inequality for future generations.



Why sustainability and equity?

The human development approach has enduring relevance for making sense of our world. Last year’s Human Development Report (HDR) reaffirmed the concept of human development—emphasizing empowerment, equity and sustainability in expanding people’s choices. It showed that these key aspects do not always coincide and highlighted challenges in addressing them. And it raised the need to promote empowerment, equity and sustainability so that they are mutually reinforcing.


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