Global Environment Outlook 2019: The must read data - Seeker's Thoughts

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Monday, 18 March 2019

Global Environment Outlook 2019: The must read data

Air pollution remains a major public health problem as the main environmental contributor to diseases around the globe. 



It results in 6 million to 7 million premature deaths and losses of 5$trillion each year according to the United Nations Global Environment Outlook 2019 released by Environment Programme (UNEP).


Species Extinction rates also continue to increase at a pace that could compromise Earth’s ability to meet human needs. 
Among invertebrate, 42% of land dwellers, 34% of freshwater species and 25% of marine species are at a risk of extinction the GEO report stated.
Another concern is poor environmental conditions: cause approximately 25% of global diseases and mortality around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone. 
  
Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people and parasites linked to pathogen-riddles water and poor sanitation.

The report found a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant over consumption of resources, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease globally.

The GEO report has shown concern of pollution related health emergencies. Other than it focuses on food wastage, there are 33% of edible food is wasted worldwide, with more than half thrown out in industrialized nations. Food wastage in rich areas accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emission could be slashed.

The report on the decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environment issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other internationally agreed environment goals, such as Paris agreement.

Global Environment Outlook observations about India

To achieve the goal to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius, India needs to abandon plans to build new coal-fired power plants.
India could save At least $3trillion which would be like 210 trillion rupees in healthcare costs if India implements policy initiative which is consistent with ensuring that the globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

 Among India’s commitment under INDC, India is on track to achieve the target of lowering the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 and increasing the total cumulative electricity generation from fossil-free energy sources to 40% by 2030.

India 4th Highest Emitter of CO2: Study

India is the fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, accounting for 7% of global emissions in 2017, a study said on Wednesday.

The top four emitters in 2017, which covered 58% of global emissions, were China 27%, the US 15% the European Union 10% and India 7%, according to the projection by Global Carbon Project. The rest of the world contributed 41% last year.

India’s emissions look set to continue their strong growth by an average of 6.3% in 2018, with growth across all fuels coal 7.1%, oil 2.9% and gas 6.0%, the study said. The top 10 emitters were China, the US, the EU, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The study also said that the Indian emissions were projected to grow 2% in 2017, compared to 6% year averaged over the previous decade, due to significant government interventions in the economy.

In India emission were expected to grow by a solid 6.3% in 2018, pushed by strong economics growth of around 8% per year. 

Coal is still the mainstay of the Indian economy, and as in China, it will be a challenge for solar and wind to displace coal, given the strong growth in energy use. 

The emission is the rest of the world, remaining 41% of global emissions, were expected to grow by 1.8% in 2018. 

This group is of mainly developing countries and the five countries contributing most to the growth in this grouping in the last decade are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Iran and South Korea.

Meeting the Paris Accord commitments

China, India and the European Union are setting the pace. These regions represent 40% of global carbon emissions. They are set to achieve more than what they agreed in the first round of Paris Agreement in 2015.

Their leaders can step up and announce even bolder programmes at the UN summit in September, 2019 to review the commitments made during Paris Agreement.

The study said that while China and India still rely heavily on coal, the US and the EU are slowly de carbonising.

India can continue to deploy solar farms, leveraging its leadership of the international Solar Alliance to displace coal and clean up its smog-choked cities. By 2020, India can announce its own fossil-fuel exit strategy and a target date for its peak CO2 emissions.
The study warned that the global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry were projected to rise for the second consecutive year in 2018.

Global Environment outlook – revealed how the planet is becoming increasingly unhealthy through the negative impacts of biodiversity loss including pollinators, coral reefs and mangroves, climate change and other pollution, water pollution, ocean pollution and depletion and land use change.
The drivers and pressures result from a continuing failure to internalize environmental and health impacts into economic growth processes technologies and city design. 

The pressure arise from massive use of chemical, huge waste streams committed and intensifying climate change impacts and inequality which contributes to demographic changes and other drivers and pressures.

The environment footprint of rich people is significantly higher than that of poorer people, for example, the monthly emission per capita in rich countries are mostly higher than the yearly emission per capita in poorer countries.

Inadequate Environmental Policy

The current national policies are not on track to address the key environmental challenges effectively and equitable, in line with the aspirations of the SDGs.

Environmental considerations need to be integrated into policy areas, such that the potential and actual implications for natural resources and the environment are robustly included in policies for economic growth, technological development and urban design so that there is effective long-term  decoupling between economic growth, resource use and environmental degradation.

Climate needs to accompany by policy for the equitable adaption to committed climate change. Policies will only be effective if they are well designed, involving clear goals and flexible the policy, including monitoring, instruments aimed at achieving them.

About Global Environment Outlook (GEO)

The UN environment launched the first global environment outlook (GEO) in 1997.

The GEO reports aim to build on sound scientific knowledge to provide governments, local authorities, businesses and individual citizens with the information needed to guide societies to a truly sustainable world by 2050.

The GEO-6 builds on the findings of previous GEO reports, including the six regional assessments 2016, and outlines the current state of the environment, illustrates possible future environmental trends and analyses the effectiveness of policies.

The flagship repost shows how governments can put the world on the path to a truly sustainable future. It emphasizes that urgent and inclusive action is needed by decision makers at all levels to achieve a healthy planet with healthy people.

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