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UN Issues Eco-Warning

UN Issues Eco-Warning

Over-consumption and globalisation are leading to unprecedented levels of eco-damage, says the UNEP.

The world is speeding down an “unsustainable path,” and humanity needs to urgently change its ways to prevent irreversible damage, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned in its latest report.

“If current patterns of production and consumption of natural resources prevail and cannot be reversed and ‘decoupled’, then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation,” said UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director Achim Steiner.

Only four of 90 internationally agreed environmental goals and objectives have shown good progress, said the Global Environment Outlook report (GEO-5), published two weeks before the Rio+20 summit in Brazil.

The four goals include eliminating the production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, removal of lead from fuel, increasing access to improved water supplies and boosting research to reduce marine pollution.

While some progress was shown in 40 goals, little or no progress was found in 24, and further deterioration was posted for eight goals.

However, the report said that there is hope for the environment if current policies and strategies are changed and strengthened.

It called for more specific targets and greater focus on issues such as population growth, urbanisation, unsustainable consumption patterns, fossil fuel-based energy consumption and globalisation.

“The moment has come to put away the paralysis of indecision, acknowledge the facts and face up to the common humanity that unites all peoples,” said Steiner.

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