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Global Environment Outlook Report

Global Environment Outlook Report

Global Environment Outlook report has been released by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The report is the sixth and is the UN’s most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012.

Highlights

A quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.

Deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy.

There is a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.

What are the consequences?

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise amid a preponderance of droughts, floods and super storms made worse by climbing sea levels, there is a growing political consensus that climate change poses a future risk to billions.

But the health impacts of pollution, deforestation and the mechanised food-chain are less well understood. Nor is there any international agreement for the environment close to covering what the 2015 Paris accord does for climate.

Poor environmental conditions “cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality” — around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.

Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.

What is recommended?

The report called for a root-and-branch detoxifying of human behaviour while insisting that the situation is not unassailable.

Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed. The world currently throws away a third of all food produced. In richer nations, 56% goes to waste.

It also called for a rapid drawdown in greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use to improve air and water quality.

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