The planet’s health is headed downhill fast – unless we act now, says this new UN report…
A recent report from the United Nations reports that environmental degradation is happening even faster than we thought. However, findings suggest that we may still be able to turn things around if we act fast. Improving our resource management, implementing new, cleaner sources of energy, and taking measures towards sustainability in our consumption can all help slow the impact of climate change, and potentially avoid some of the worst effects that are currently headed our way.
The four largest areas of concern where we need to focus our attention are North America and the Arctic, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the other Pacific nations. These countries are all suffering heavily from pollution, ocean warming, sea level rise, and deforestation, as well as overexploitation of resources. Some of these areas also have their own unique challenges to sustainability and environmental health, such as poverty, sanitation, unchecked urban growth, and mining.
Here are a few more alarming statistics released in the report last month:
Most of the world is suffering from desertification, land and air degradation, and the effects of climate change as rapid urbanization, rising levels of consumption, and population growth intensifies, the report, released Thursday, states. While dire impacts are recorded in every corner of the world, there is time to address the worst effects, such as marine ecosystem damage and the world’s most widespread environmental health risk: increasing air pollution.
Released ahead of next week’s United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenya, the U.N. report calls for a drop in fossil fuel dependence, a diversification of energy sources, and an increase in sustainable consumption to reduce environmental pressures. That’s a timely suggestion, as the report comes as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reportedly reached nearly 410 parts per million. The world hasn’t seen this much CO2 in the atmosphere in at least 400,000 years, and as Inside Climate News reports, levels could stay over 400 ppm permanently.