Have you heard about the Sustainable Development Index (SDI)? It ranks countries very differently from other scores out there like the Human Development Index (HDI). For example, the US is 13th in the HDI index but is 159th out of 163 countries in the new system. Britain ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI but falls to 131st in the SDI. Cuba tops the list followed by Costa Rica. And my island home, Jamaica, is ranked 23rd in the world!
Sustainable development, according to the United Nations, is the progress made towards a future that considers people, prosperity, the planet, peace, and partnerships. This means that companies and countries have to care about more than just profit and need to protect the environment and society. You have a role to play in this because you vote and you consume. When we make sustainable choices we support sustainable development.
The countries that top this list do so because:
Sadly, “developed” nations like the US and Britain consume beyond their needs. They exceed the planetary boundaries and damage the environment. For example, if the whole world were to consume like an average American then we would need five planets… FIVE! Don’t believe me? Check the Earth Overshoot website to learn more.
Traditional sustainable development scores like the HDI do not include the environmental and ecological impacts of economic growth. The countries that are normally called “developed” are really not sustainable.
Our would will be sustainable if we ensure companies and countries protect our natural environment and build resilient communities. Climate change will impact us all so we have to make sustainable choices if we are to survive. You can be the change and make a difference.
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