Intergenerational justice requires that the environment we pass on to our children and grandchildren meets their basic needs and allows for a reasonable level of wellbeing.
Yet the world that we are handing on to younger and future generations is in the midst of an urgent environmental crisis. Climate change, resource depletion and extensive species loss are now at acute levels. We revel in a consumption culture that depletes the natural capital that future generations will rely on for their very survival.
And in failing to address environmental issues now we are also passing severe financial penalties onto future generations. As the Stern Report made clear, failure to act early and decisively on climate change could result in food, water and health crises worldwide, equivalent to losing at least 5% of Gross Domestic Product each year for the long-term future (and possibly up to 20%). The evidence is clear: acting quickly and effectively on climate change is not only an ethical imperative, but an urgent financial one.
IF sees these issues as central to its overall mission, and is working in partnership with the Alliance for Future Generations and other groups to build awareness and work for change.
Click here to read the Rio+20 submission paper