Plastic garbage litters a lagoon in the island nation of Tuvalu.

Photo: Ashley Cooper / Getty Images

SDG 10 is dedicated to reducing inequality. Yet, despite strong and well-documented links between inequality and environmental impacts, SDG 10 does not mention the environment, while more environmentally focused goals address inequality indirectly, if at all.

This raises the question of how a plan to achieve the SDGs taken as a whole should best address relationships between inequality, environmental impacts, and access to environmental resources. In this book chapter, The missing link between inequality and the environment in SDG 10 , SEI experts address this question through the lens of three frameworks: climate equity, environmental justice and analysis of distributional impacts.

These frameworks urge a systemic view of inequalities and how they are reinforced and perpetuated, the authors argue. Absent a systems approach, acting on environmentally focused goals can inadvertently exacerbate inequalities. This observation suggests the utility of an “SDG interactions” approach to sustainability policy.

This book, Transitioning to Reduced Inequalities , is part of the Transitioning to Sustainability Series exploring the SDGs in detail.