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The countries of the world still have a long way to go to achieve sustainable wellbeing

The goal of sustainable development is to secure well-being also for future generations. How have the countries of the world succeeded in this? A research group at the University of Leeds showed, that not a single country on earth has achieved a high level of well-being within biophysical boundaries. The study has linked measures of planetary boundaries and ecological sustainability with indicators of social achievements. Not a single country in the world has achieved social thresholds in such a way that at least some biophysical boundary had not been overstepped. The situation is the same at the European Union level (Häyhä et. al. 2018).

Picture Not a single country has achieved a high level of well-being in an ecologically sustainable way
Picture. The social and ecological sustainability level of the countries of the world. Not a single country has achieved a high level of human well-being in an ecologically sustainable manner. It would be the most sustainable and fair for a country to achieve well-being without exceeding the planetary boundaries (lower right on the picture). The position of the country data points is approximative. Source: O’Neill et al. 2018 © SYKE & SITRA © SYKE & SITRA

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The countries of the world in proportion to the biophysical boundaries and to social thresholds

The maps below indicate how social thresholds have been achieved, or biophysical boundaries have been transgressed in different countries.

Especially in rich countries social goals have been achieved by using the environment and natural resources in an unsustainable manner. If biophysical boundaries are transgressed, the present generation pursue well-being at the expense of other species and future generations.

Biophysical boundaries transgressed map
Picture. Biophysical boundaries. You can zoom the map https://goodlife.leeds.ac.uk/world-map/

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Picture Social thresholds map
Picture. Social thresholds. You can zoom the map https://goodlife.leeds.ac.uk/world-map/

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Published 2018-09-13 at 15:14, updated 2018-09-14 at 8:45

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