Two major injustices that plague the world today — stark inequality and the unequal impact of climate change. The two are intricately linked with the impact of one (climate change) grossly exacerbating the impact on the other (inequality). Inequality is often described from an economic lens and in terms of wealth ownership of the world’s richest vs the rest. On the other hand, if one begins to view inequality beyond an income lens and sees it in terms of access to quality education, health, employment, food security, financial inclusion, water resources and so on, the widening gap between the haves and the have nots becomes much starker.
Economic growth is often hyped as a sure means to rise above poverty but it cannot sustain at the cost of social and environmental injustice. Inequality should be viewed as a consequence of failed economic models. In many of the existing development programs, economic growth in itself serves little purpose and needs to be in consonance with a quality of growth that includes social progress such as access to good schools, health care, electricity, safe water which are not hindered by socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and geography. Thus, it is critical to devise solutions that are more inclusive.(more…)