Intergenerational equity is “a value concept which focuses on the rights of future generations”. It is a belief that “each generation has the right to inherit the same diversity in natural and cultural resources enjoyed by previous generations and to equitable access to the use and benefits of these resources”. Which means that the current generation is to act as a good steward of the earth, so as to preserve it for future generations. The resources of the planet, thus, do not “belong” to any one generation.
Intergenerational equity is often brought out when people discuss the long-term effects of global warming. Right now, unless we do something drastic, we are saddling future generations with the consequences of our current actions, which is deemend unethical by the notion of intergenerational equity.
The term “intergenerational equity” is often applied to environmental issues, as the consequences for our current actions may be more strongly felt by subsequent generations. It is, at its basis, a philosophical idea, within the discussion of moral obligation between generations. It is, as such, also used in the context of economic discussions, around such issues as the national debt, which will be inherited by future generations of citizens.
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