Inequality is a major barrier blocking the world from moving towards sustainability, according to a presentation by IfE’s Deborah Rogers at the recent Planet Under Pressure conference (London, March 2012).  Inequality blocks sustainability in a number of ways, Rogers says. Studies have shown that inequality motivates excess consumption as a form of status competition; it diverts resources for development to large businesses and wealthy elites; it destabilizes economies and promotes corruption; it increases the rate of mental and physical illness, promotes crime and conflict, and breaks down the social solidarity and trust needed to implement agreements to limit emissions and other environmental impacts. “Who would sign off on an agreement that blocks them from achieving a decent level of development, in order to preserve the right to a much higher standard of living by others?”  Rogers concludes. See the presentation here.