He says that the UN’s annual Human Development Index (HDI), released earlier this month, is flawed because it fails to take into account sustainability. “Worse still, the index celebrates gas-guzzling developed nations. It is time this failure — hidden in plain sight — was exposed and corrected,” he says.
Red countries fall farthest when the Human Development Index is recalculated to include per capita carbon emissions.
“The HDI has shifted the target of development beyond the almighty dollar; the proposed HSDI would go one step further and change the role models for development,” he says. “My country is likely to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the current HDI offers no encouragement for it to grow sustainably.
The 2011 HSDI incorporated carbon dioxide emission per capita in addition to income, health and education and used the same 2011 UN methodology (Technical notes for 2011 HDR). All four indicators carry equal weight. The incorporation of per capita carbon emissions was inverse: more emissions = lower environmental index value.
Human Sustainable Development Index COMPLETE TABLE (pdf, 57.2 kB)
Professor Togtokh is Vice Chair of the IGBP Global Change National Committee of Mongolia.
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