Inequality and the biosphere

Abstract

Rising inequalities and accelerating global environmental change pose two of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century. To explore how these phenomena are linked, we apply a social-ecological systems perspective and review the literature to identify six different types of interactions (or “pathways”) between inequality and the biosphere. We find that most of the re- search so far has only considered one-directional effects of inequality on the biosphere, or vice versa. However, given the potential for complex dynamics between socioeconomic and environ- mental factors within social-ecological systems, we highlight examples from the literature that illustrate the importance of cross-scale interactions and feedback loops between inequality and the biosphere. This review draws on diverse disciplines to advance a systemic understanding of the linkages between inequality and the biosphere, specifically recognizing cross-scale feedbacks and the multidimensional nature of inequality

Publication
Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Date