Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights into Editorial: Make peace with nature now

 

reduced_human_welbeing

 

Context: Make peace with nature report:

The first UNEP synthesis report is titled: Making Peace With Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies” and is based on evidence from global environmental assessments.

“Our war on nature has left the planet broken,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the foreword of a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report that lays out a program to address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution in an integrated way.

By synthesizing the latest scientific findings from the global environmental assessments, the report communicates the current status of the world’s urgent issues and opportunities to solve them.

 

Various reports in past highlighted the urgent action on a global scale:

  1. As climate change-inducing emissions continue to rise, biodiversity loss accelerates and new pandemics emerge, solutions have proved inadequate in
  2. In response, the Making Peace with Nature report is a “blueprint to urgently solve planetary emergencies” via a synthesis of diverse global environmental assessments.
  3. These include reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook report and research on zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.
  4. As COVID-19 upends our lives, a more persistent crisis demands urgent action on a global scale.
  5. Three environmental crises — climate change; nature loss; and the pollution of air, soil and water add up to a planetary emergency that will cause far more pain than COVID-19 in the long-term.
  6. For years, scientists have detailed how humanity is degrading nature. Yet the actions governments, financial institutions, businesses and individuals are taking fall short of what is needed to protect current and future generations from a hothouse Earth, beset by mass species extinctions and poisonous air and water.

 

GHGs: Global warming of more than 3°C this century needed:

In 2020, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced that, despite a dip in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the pandemic, the world is still headed for global warming of more than 3°C this century.

This month, the Dasgupta Review reminded us of what UNEP has long warned: the per capita stock of natural capital (the resources and services nature provides to humanity) has fallen by 40% in just over two decades.

We already know that a staggering nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air.

 

Making Peace with Nature report provides answers: Towards a sustainable future:

The experts have developed solutions. To guide decision-makers towards the action required, the UN has released the Making Peace with Nature report.

  1. The report pulls together all the evidence of environmental decline from major global scientific assessments, with the most advanced ideas on how to reverse it.
  2. The result is a blueprint for a sustainable future that can secure human well-being on a healthy planet.
  3. Our environmental, social and economic challenges are interlinked. They must be tackled together.
    1. For example, we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 if climate change and ecosystem collapse are undermining food and water supplies in the world’s poorest countries.
  4. We have no choice but to transform our economies and societies by valuing nature and putting its health at the heart of all our decisions.
  5. If we did this, banks and investors would stop financing fossil fuels. Governments would shift trillions of dollars in subsidies to nature-positive farming and clean energy and water.
  6. People would prioritise health and well-being over consumption and shrink their environmental footprint.

 

Way Forward: What must be done is to deliver Intended Nationally determined contributions:

There are signs of progress, but the problems are escalating faster than our responses. The number of countries promising to work towards net-zero emissions stands at 126.

  1. The ask is for all countries to deliver stretched nationally determined contributions ahead of the climate Conference of the Parties (COP) and immediately kickstart the transitions to net-zero.
  2. At the climate COP, governments must also finally agree on the rules for a global carbon trading market.
  3. The $100 billion that developed countries promised to provide every year to help developing nations cope with the impacts of climate change must finally flow.
  4. The ask is for us is to feed the world without destroying nature, felling forests and emptying our oceans.
  5. We can create an amazing economy by moving to circular economic systems that reuse resources, reduce emissions and weed out the chemicals and toxins that are causing millions of premature deaths all while creating jobs.
  6. Addressing our planetary emergency is a whole-of-society effort. But governments must take the lead, starting with a smart and sustainable recovery from the pandemic that invests in the right places.
  7. They must create opportunities for future industries that generate prosperity. They must ensure that transitions are fair and equitable, creating jobs for those who lose out.
  8. They must give citizens a voice in these far-reaching decisions. This year, we must make peace with nature and, in every subsequent year, we must make sure that this peace lasts.

 

Conclusion:

The resulting synthesis communicates how climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution can be tackled jointly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report serves to translate the current state of scientific knowledge into crisp, clear and digestible facts-based messages that the world can relate to and follow up on.

It first provides an Earth diagnosis of current and projected human-induced environmental change, by putting facts and interlinkages in perspective, including by using smart infographics.

In building on this diagnosis, the report identifies the shifts needed to close gaps between current actions and those needed to achieve sustainable development.

The analysis is anchored in current economic, social and ecological reality and framed by economics and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.