The United Nations' Global Environment Outlook Is Much More Than A Grim Warning

On Wednesday, the sixth ever
United Nations’ Global Environment Outlook

was released. Though the current outlook is grim, the UN report
offers some hope by outlining the steps that need to be taken to
address the problem. According to The Hill, the report was released
with the intent to provide policymakers with the most up-to-date
information on the state of environmental issues across the globe.
This year, the results are daunting and the solutions require a
more drastic global response than ever.

Per CNN,
over 250 scientists and environmental experts
from over 70
countries contributed to the report, which surpasses 700 pages. In

the report
, the authors warned that a number of
environmental crises are worsening
, including air pollution,
global warming, increased water scarcity, and the overall
decreasing integrity of a number of eco-systems. In the opening
statement of the report, the authors wrote,

The overall condition of the global environment has
continued to deteriorate since the first edition of GEO, despite
environmental policy efforts across all countries and regions…
[environmental policies are being challenged by] unsustainable
human activities globally have degraded the Earths ecosystems,
endangering the ecological foundations of society. Urgent action at
an unprecedented scale is necessary to arrest and reverse this
situation, thereby protecting human and environmental health and
maintaining the current and future integrity of global
ecosystems.

At another point, the authors emphasized, “Current patterns of
consumption, production and inequality are not sustainable, adding
to other severe environmental pressures … Projected population
growth, urbanization trends and economic development will
significantly increase demand for natural resources, such as food,
energy and water, towards 2050.”

MSNBC on YouTube

This is certainly upsetting news, though it might not be
surprising for most people. Regardless, the
message sent within the report
was a clear one: these
scientists and experts suggest the world, collectively, is not
doing enough to prevent the increasing rate of environmental
devastation, and action needs to be taken immediately.

The silver lining is that the UN did offer solutions to the
issue. However, these solutions require “transformative change and
an integrative approach,” the report stressed. These solutions are
summarized in part,

[The solutions] are associated with achieving
sustainable consumption and production patterns for energy, food
and water in order to provide universal access to those resources,
while preventing climate change, air pollution, land degradation,
loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, and overexploitation and
pollution of oceans. They include changes in lifestyle, consumption
preferences and consumer behaviour on the one hand, and cleaner
production processes, resource efficiency and decoupling, corporate
responsibility and compliance on the other hand.

TEDx Talks on YouTube

If you feel strongly about working towards these solutions, and
are worried about the details in the report, there are a number of
ways you can help. You can learn more about environmental
legislation being considered, like the
Green New Deal
, and if you support that legislation, you can
inform your local lawmakers. You can also support the
students’ climate march
taking place on Friday, in which
children across the globe skip school to demand that their
countries make more aggressive moves towards combatting climate
change.

Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News 2
The United Nations' Global Environment Outlook Is Much More Than A Grim Warning