Environmental Sustainability and Human Development: A Greening of Human Development Index

16 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2014 Last revised: 30 May 2014

See all articles by Norma Maccari

Norma Maccari

University of Napoli Parthenope

Date Written: March 15, 2014


Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the most widely used measure of well-being. The weak point of this index is that it does not take into account the concept of sustainability and, more precisely, it is lacking in the environmental component specification. On the other side of the spectrum, some indicators provide useful information about the environmental health of countries but not about human development, such as the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The necessity of the HDI empowerment with environmental dimensions was a theme of discussion during the most recent Rio 20-United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development (2012), as part of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) post-2015.

This paper has three main results: i) it provides a global picture of the relationship between human development and environment, through a U-shaped relationship between HDI and EPI. ii) It introduces a new quantitative measure: the Environmental Human Development Index, which rebalance the concept of human development in a sustainability framework and arises a different scenario between human development and sustainability; iii) it provides a discussion of EHDI in light of Kyoto protocol agreement.

Keywords: Sustainable development, Human Development Index, Environmental Performance Index, Kyoto Protocol

JEL Classification: O13; O15; Q01; Q56

Suggested Citation

Maccari, Norma, Environmental Sustainability and Human Development: A Greening of Human Development Index (March 15, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2426073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2426073

Norma Maccari (Contact Author)

University of Napoli Parthenope ( email )

Via Acton 38
Naples, 80133

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