Equality gives everyone the opportunity to thrive.
Since the start of the pandemic, economic inequality has worsened to an alarming degree. The world’s ten richest men have doubled their wealth, while 99% of the population has become financially worse off.
While Elon Musk receives billions in government subsidies and plans trips to Mars, more than a quarter of a billion people struggle to get food each day.
“… the [corona]virus does not discriminate, but its impacts do — exposing deep weaknesses in the delivery of public services and structural inequalities that impede access to them.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG10) is reducing inequalities. And as economies re-establish after the pandemic, there needs to be a focus on equality and inclusivity as societies rebuild.
At its essence, economic equality means every person is valued and rewarded fairly for their work. As a result, a ‘more’ equal society benefits all.
There’s a reason Finland, the world’s most equitable country, sits at the top of the list of happiest countries. Populations in countries with better equality are happier and healthier. In contrast, more unequal countries have more crime, lower levels of education, and more pollution.
The world’s richest 10% of people are responsible for more than half the consumption-induced pollution—a direct cause of climate change. This makes sense since the more money people have, the more they spend it on things they don’t need—large homes, multiple cars, air flights, fast fashion etc. We live in a disposable society where items get discarded as soon as they’re bought.
But inequality is not just about some having more than others. On the contrary, inequality produces societies where judgement and prejudice are commonplace. Those without are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and discrimination and often feel pressure to buy status symbols like clothing and cars.
Wealthy countries with greater inequality have corresponding greater levels of consumption, waste and carbon emissions. Whereas, research shows that a society with high economic equality enjoys a healthier environment in almost every aspect.
There’s no doubt that much of the western world has a tendency for over-consumption. Just look at the number of SUVs on the road, for example. And we need to be using our money for good rather than buying more unnecessary stuff. However, we also need to pressure governments to make decisions and policies for the greater good rather than the select wealthy few—starting with increased and effective taxation for the uber rich. If the world becomes fairer for all, we all have the opportunity to thrive, and the planet just might survive.
#Inequality #SDG10 #Sustainability #SustainableLiving #Pollution #Environmental #ClimateAction #ClimateCrisis #ClimateChange #ESG #TogetherForThePlanet #GlimmerBeInspired
Goal of the month. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/goal-of-the-month-may-2020/
The equality effect. https://newint.org/features/2017/07/01/equality-effect
Here is what you missed at The Festival to Fight Inequality, 2021. https://www.oxfam.org/en/blogs/here-what-you-missed-festival-fight-inequality-2021
In a region brought to its knees. https://www.oxfam.org/en/blogs/region-brought-its-knees-inequality-kills
Is inequality bad for the environment? https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jul/04/is-inequality-bad-for-the-environment