The Happy Planet Index

פורסם: 11 בפבר׳ 2012, 10:34 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 11 בפבר׳ 2012, 10:43 ]
About the Happy Planet Index

The HPI is an innovative measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. The second compilation of the global HPI, published in July 2009, shows that we are still far from achieving sustainable well-being and puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there.

The Index doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.

The HPI shows that around the world, high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being, and that it is possible to produce high well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. It also reveals that there are different routes to achieving comparable levels of well-being. The model followed by the West can provide widespread longevity and variable life satisfaction, but it does so only at a vast and ultimately counter-productive cost in terms of resource consumption.

Global and European

The HPI strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting global index of the 143 nations for which new, improved data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go. In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better. No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

Also available is the HPI for European countries, compiled in 2007. Based on the carbon footprints of European countries, it provides a picture of the relative carbon efficiency of European nations.

Steering towards success

No single country listed in the Happy Planet Index has everything right. This is what is acknowledged by the graffiti on the title above. While some countries are more efficient than others at delivering long, happy lives for their people, every country has its problems and no country performs as well as it could. Yet clear patterns do emerge that point to how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means.

Our challenge now is to learn the lessons of the HPI and apply them. The happy planet charter, launched alongside the latest report in July 2009, provides some key goals to help the planet achieve good lives that do not cost the earth.

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