What are the biggest polluters? The Stockholm Conference, 1972. Poverty reduction is a collection of economic and humanitarian policies designed to permanently raise people out of poverty, whereas environmental sustainability is the ability to satisfy current demands without jeopardising future generations’ ability to meet their own.
Prioritizing one sector can severely effect the other. So there is a ‘conflict’ between poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.
According to conventional wisdom, reducing poverty will unintentionally cause negative environmental externalities. Eradicating poverty necessitates increasing economic and natural resource production, both of which effect the natural environment. Increasing food production, creating hospitals, roads, schools, and industries necessitates deforestation, mining, and other natural resource extraction.
Historically, countries have used natural resource exploitation to reduce poverty. Because of irreversible climate change and anthropocentric environmental actions, both industrialised and poor countries must reassess their development strategies.
International conventions like the Paris Agreement add to the load. As a result, emerging countries like India are unable to employ the industrialised world’s poverty reduction method.
This trade-off between poverty reduction and environmental sustainability can be avoided by adopting a ‘Sustainable Development’ strategy. Sustainable Development uses technology and worldwide best practises to avoid this trade-off. This would solve poverty without damaging the environment.
For example, in India, the government created the Ujjwala scheme for low-income households. Previously, these families used wood to cook, affecting women’s health and emitting carbon. We now have ways for decreasing our carbon footprint while eradicating poverty and deprivation.
Green economy and circular economy are gaining traction among policymakers, which might be extremely beneficial.
Sustainable practises, public participation, and decentralised resource management are solutions to poverty and environmental deterioration.
Because poverty and environmental sustainability are intertwined, there can be no solution to poverty without environmental sustainability. In the same vein, SDG 1 seeks to eradicate global poverty by 2030.