Intergenerational Equity is defined as:
“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”
It articulates the concept of fairness amongst all generations in the use and conservation of the environment and its natural resources.
In the 1980s, Edith Brown Weiss identified the principle of intergenerational equity, in which all generations hold the Earth in common as a
trust. Meaning that, people are both beneficiaries entitled to use the environment and its resources, and at the same time trustees (or custodians) with an obligation to pass it on in no worse condition on balance than that in which it was received.
The elements of the principle meet four criteria:
Collectively, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a starting point for intergenerational equity. For further information on the Sustainable Development Goals, click here