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Sustainability and human development: a proposal for a sustainability adjusted HDI (SHDI)

Pineda, Jose (2012): Sustainability and human development: a proposal for a sustainability adjusted HDI (SHDI).

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Abstract

This paper proposes a sustainability-adjusted HDI in which country’s achievements in human development are penalized, to reflect the over-exploitation of the environment and its relative intensity. The human development approach has been a powerful framework in the past for advancing the measurement of human progress. Today, this approach can help us make more explicit the profound connections between current and future generations’ choices by offering a framework for understanding sustainability that connects inter- and intra-generational equity with global justice. The analysis shows that there are important global sustainability challenges ahead since there are 79 (out of 118) countries with at least one indicator above the planetary boundary. There are 17 countries that lost at least one position in their HDI ranking after adjusting for sustainability. Between these countries, however, the countries that experience the largest drop in ranking were 37 positions for the United States, 26 positions for China, and 17 positions for the Russian Federation.

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