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The Importance of Human Capital for Sustainability

Challenges on the Path Toward Sustainability in Europe

ISBN: 978-1-80043-973-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-972-6

Publication date: 4 December 2020


Affordable and clean energy as well as regulation and decrease in emissions are in the heart of sustainable development goals. In order to achieve these goals, cleaner technologies together with responsible consumption and production need to be adopted. Therefore, the knowledge, skills and habits – the human capital and increased awareness of its importance, play an important role. The relationship between sustainability and human capital has been addressed only recently. There had been two streams of literature, investigating either (i) the relationship of human capital and the economic growth, or (ii) the nexus of economic growth and sustainability, without realizing the interconnectedness of these concepts. In this chapter, the authors add contribution to this scarce, yet growing body of literature by investigating the relationship between human capital (measured by Index of human capital) and two measures of sustainability: electricity use and CO2 emissions for a panel of European Union Member States. The authors show that the increase in human capital is associated with the decrease in energy consumption and CO2 emissions and therefore is associated with the increase in sustainability. This chapter bears important policy implications since it shows that the human capital, its stock and quality, should be included in the sustainability discussions and is important for achieving the sustainability goals.



FarCˇnik, D. and IsteniCˇ, T. (2020), "The Importance of Human Capital for Sustainability", Žabkar, V. and Redek, T. (Ed.) Challenges on the Path Toward Sustainability in Europe, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 237-252.



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