Inter-generational equity versus intra-generational equity ?!


If refer to the article “Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and the concept of Sustainable Development” written by Giuseppe Munda in 1997.
He points out, that sustainable development is a multidimensional concept that is why it’s so difficult to find solutions to the urgent problems of our globe.
To clear up his train of thought Munda quotes a study by the United Nations.
“In 1980, the total world energy consumption was 10terawatt-hours (TW-h). With no increase in consumption in less developed countries, by 2025 the whole world population would need 14 TW-H. If the consumption of the whole world population were at the level of western countries, then by 2025 it would be 55 TW-h.”
Now the conclusions to be drawn form this:
If in 2025 the world population need 14 TW-h, it means that there is no economical growth in less developed countries and that’s highly socially unsustainable.
If in 2025 the world population need 55 TW-h, it is environmentally unsustainable because of the exhaustion of natural capital.
While reading this paragraph the question which came to my mind was, what would be the impacts of SD of our every day life in Western Europe, if a shift to a sustainable future was unavoidable?
My question that I would like to discuss with the other Blogger:
How can we contribute to intra-generational equity (Decrease of North-South divide), without losing track of inter-generational equity?

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2 comments on “Inter-generational equity versus intra-generational equity ?!
  1. jeremy says:

    Very nice post Jan! The fact is that if India and China continue to develop as rapidly as they have, and all the Indians and Chinese want to live like North Americans, we’ll need more than one planet to live off! (Have you checked your ecological footprint yet?) In which case, you are quite right, some urgent action is required.

  2. zsuzsanna says:

    I think that intra-generational equity should be formed by governments and the fair allocation of illimited resources should be the tasks of the states. But the the inter-genarational equity has to be elaborated at a higher level of administration (for example EU or throughout world congresses). First, the problem of inter-generational equity (as a company’s long term strategy), which crosses boundaries, has to be solved then the question of intra-generational equity should be soluted by governments according to the frameworks of inter-generational equity.

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