The threat of climate change and global warming, fueled by relentless commercialization and excessive consumption, has turned into a fighting ground for both policymakers and concerned citizens. The coming decade is set to determine not only a collective response to reducing carbon emissions, but the entire future direction for international development and the global justice movement.
Rio+20 is a golden opportunity for civil society to influence the ‘sustainable development’ agenda. An important first step is to substitute the imperative for economic growth with more socially and environmentally sound policy objectives, argues Rajesh Makwana.
After decades of reliance on fossil fuels, humanity is close to breaching the sustainability of Earth. To meet both the objectives of conquering poverty and protecting the environment, we need a complete transformation of technology on which human economic activity is based, says a report by UN DESA.
In order to build a safe and sustainable future, humanity must transform its relationship with nature. The adoption of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth is an important first step, says a book published by The Council of Canadians, Fundación Pachamama and Global Exchange.
Pollution, overfishing, and the effects of climate change are threatening a mass extinction of marine life. Governments must take urgent action to curb human activities that put our oceans at risk, says the preliminary report of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO).
Recent analyses show that carbon emission reduction promises by industrialised nations are actually lower than those made by China, India, Brazil and other developing nations. Even with all the pledges added together they still fall short of cuts needed to prevent a global temperatures rise of two degrees Celsius.
In order to maintain a global environment that is conducive for human development and well-being, we must define and respect planetary boundaries that delineate a “safe operating space” for humanity, write Will Steffen, Johan Rockström and Robert Costanza.
Europe is consuming more than its fair share of natural resources, with devastating impacts on ecosystems and communities. The European Commission must adopt measures to increase resource efficiency and reduce waste, says a report by the Friends of the Earth Europe and the European Environmental Bureau.