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.
There is a growing consensus that the world can stabilise atmospheric CO2 at 350 parts per million at a cost of less than three percent of global GDP. Reaching this important target will not destroy the economy, but failing to act in time might, explain Frank Ackerman et al.
When world leaders meet for the climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, they will face a convergence of social movements that reject the market-oriented ‘solutions’ currently under negotiation. Whether or not they will listen is another matter, writes Laura Carlson.
Deforestation, agricultural expansion, overfishing and climate change have helped push one-fifth of all birds, fish and animals to the brink of extinction. The ‘backbone’ of biodiversity is being eroded, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Allowing ‘ecosystem services’ to remain unaccounted for within the economy will lead to the continuing rapid extinction of species, and ensuing massive financial costs. The global economy must be radically altered to value nature’s riches, says The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) report.
When leaders gather in 2012 for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, they meet to discuss ways to build a new green economy - a technological solution for all our environmental and economic woes. But will this ‘global shock doctrine’ really work? By Pat Mooney.
The ongoing decline of the world’s biological resources threatens to increase poverty and people’s vulnerability to climate change. Governments must recognise the true economic value of the goods and services our environment provides us, says a report by the International Institute for Environment and Development et al.
If overconsumption continues in rich countries, humanity will need the capacity of two Earths to keep up with demands on natural resources. Ending 'ecological overshoot' in an equitable manner is essential in order to ensure future human well-being, says a report by WWF.