Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All

The 2011 Report identified ways to jointly advance sustainability and equity. This graph illustrates the policy synergies and trade-offs between these two goals. Pursuing sustainability and equity jointly does not require that they be mutually reinforcing. Some policies may advance one objective but set back the other. For instance Subsidizing coal in developing countries may promote growth but also contribute to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Such a policy could have positive effects on global equity but negative effects on sustainability. However the 2011 Report argued that investments that improve equity—in access, for example, to renewable energy, water and sanitation, and reproductive healthcare—could advance both sustainability and human development. Read more about Sustainability and Equity at the 2011 Human Development Report.

This graph was originally published on the 2011 Human Development Report, “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” – Page 20