UNEP calls time on GDP, introduces an Inclusive Wealth Index

UN Under-Secretary General UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, introducing the Inclusive Wealth Index at Rio+20:

Rio+20 is an opportunity to call time on Gross Domestic Product as a measure of prosperity in the 21st century, and as a barometer of an inclusive Green Economy transition – it is far too silent on major measures of human well-being namely many social issues and the state of a nation’s natural resources. IWI is among a range of potential replacements which world leaders can consider as a way of bringing great precision to assessing wealth generation in order to realize sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The IWI looks beyond GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and HDI (Human Development Index) to offer a truer picture of wealth and the (un)sustainability of growth. The index reveals that many countries registering GDP and HDI growth have experienced significant declines in natural resources, often worsened by fast growing populations.