Global Environment Outlook Report 2019: Highlights

Global Environment Outlook Report 2019: Highlights

About

  • The report is published by United nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This is the 6th report of GEO with theme "Healthy Planet, Health People". The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is the result of a consultative and participatory process to prepare an independent assessment of the state of the environment, the effectiveness of the policy response in addressing environmental challenges and the possible pathways to achieving various internationally agreed environmental goals.

Key Findings

  • Urbanization is happening at an unprecedented rate globally and cities have become the foremost drivers of economic development across the world.
  • A quarter of all the premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.
  • There is a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
  • Climate change is a priority issue affecting both human systems, including human health, and natural systems – air, biological diversity, freshwater, oceans and land – and which alters the complex interactions between those systems.
  • Air pollution is the main environmental contributor to the global burden of disease leading to between 6 million to 7 million premature deaths.
  • Genetic diversity is declining, threatening food security and the resilience of ecosystems, including agricultural systems and food security.
  • The rate of human-induced release of greenhouse gases is driving rising sea levels, changes in ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. Coral reefs are being devastated by those changes.
  • Food production is the largest anthropogenic use of land, using 50 per cent of habitable land.
  • Deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy.
  • In most regions, water quality has worsened significantly since 1990, owing to organic and chemical pollution, such as pathogens, nutrients, pesticides, sediments, heavy metals, plastic and microplastic waste, persistent organic pollutants and salinity.
  • The scale and magnitude of global consumption, especially in urban areas, is affecting global resource flows and planetary cycles. Cities and their surrounding areas will continue to grow in both population and size and to act as generators of economic growth.

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