[News] Cuba found to be the most sustainably developed country in the world - US is 159th out of 163

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 2 10:58:10 EST 2019


  Cuba found to be the most sustainably developed country in the world,
  new research finds

Friday, November 29, 2019

CUBA is the most sustainably developed country in the world, according 
to a new report launched today.

The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including 
Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive 
six-decades-long economic blockade.

The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and 
author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s 
“human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life 
expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the 
extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural 

Countries with strong human development and a lower environmental impact 
score highly, but countries with poorer life expectancies and literacy 
rates as well as those which exceed ecological limits are marked down.

Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 
0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.

The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), 
developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United 
Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990.

The HDI considers life expectancy, education and gross national income 
per capita, but ignores environmental degradation caused by the economic 
growth of top performers such as Britain and the US.

“These countries are major contributors to climate change and other 
forms of ecological breakdown, which disproportionately affects the 
poorer countries of the global South, where climate change is already 
causing hunger rates to rise,” Mr Hickel said.

“In this sense, the HDI promotes a model of development that is 
empirically incompatible with ecology and which embodies a fundamental 
contradiction: achieving high development according to HDI means driving 
de-development elsewhere in the world. For a development indicator that 
purports to be universal, such a contradiction is indefensible.”

Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the 
US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in 
the new system.

Mr Hickel added: “The SDI ranking reveals that all countries are still 
“developing” – countries with the highest levels of human development 
still need to significantly reduce their ecological impact, while 
countries with the lowest levels of ecological impact still need to 
significantly improve their performance on social indicators.”

/The SDI is available at sustainabledevelopmentindex.org 

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