Plastics have boosted our economy because they are versatile, cheap and durable. Yet, thanks to these same traits, in the course of establishing a US$750 billion global industry, we have also created a massive problem. Rivers are filled with plastic garbage. Plastic bottles soil beaches. Masses of plastic are floating in the ocean. Birds become entangled in plastic pieces, and whales’ stomachs fill with plastic debris. Plastics can harm humans, too, by releasing toxic additives.
A paper published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tests the hypothesis that climate related natural disasters may be part of the cause of conflict in countries with high ethnic fractionalization.
“No single SDG or the SDGs as a whole will be successfully implemented if we do it within silos.
From 4 to 5 July 2016, the Petersberg Climate Dialogue was hosted in Bonn by Barbara Hendricks, the German Federal Minister of Environment, and Salaheddine Mezouar, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, who will also serve as President of the upcoming COP22.
Tacking global warming and ensuring millions gain access to clean water, food and energy should not be tackled separately – they’re both sides of the same coin. Choices countries make now over future infrastructure will determine whether and how they deliver on their climate change agendas.
California has been at the forefront of the modern environmental movement that, in its most iconic form, we associate with hippies and alternative lifestyles. In the following decades, Silicon Valley - the mecca of tech-companies and engine of technological innovation and progress – also became another widely known Californian export. It is thus fitting that the Californian think tank The Breakthrough Institute held its annual Dialogue in Sausalito, CA, - close to Berkeley and Mountain View - bringing together scientists, journalists, activists, and entrepreneurs from across the world to discuss how to overcome societal and technological hurdles for a brighter future for humankind and nature.
The effects of climate change vary from region to region, but according to a new study from the World Bank, the majority of the global impact stemming from climate change will come through the water cycle. High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines how scarce and variable water supplies will interact with growing global populations, rising incomes, and expanding urban areas and how smart policies and investments can reduce or eliminate the negative consequences.
Over the past decade, the number of undernourished people around the world has declined by around 167 million, to just under 800 million people. However, this positive trend glosses over a stark reality: Food insecurity is increasing in the world’s mountains. This pattern has been under-recognized by development experts and governments, a dangerous oversight with far-reaching social and environmental repercussions.
26 May 2016 – At a meeting today in the United Nations Security Council on the situation in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, senior UN officials stressed that climate change plays a direct role in the region’s security, development and stability by increasing drought and fuelling conflict.
2015 was a historic year for international commitments to sustainable development, climate change action, and new kinds of peacebuilding. For governments and policymakers, now comes the difficult task of living up to those commitments.
Security concerns, like ISIS and a revanchist Russia, tend to dominate people’s attention, but less sensational challenges to stability and economic development are piling up as well, threatening to overwhelm humanitarian budgets and prompting governments to shift funding from development to emergency aid.
By joining up action – and funding – on climate change, conflict and poverty, the world’s biggest crises could get easier to manage.
This report explores natural World Heritage sites, which, as large areas of habitat, play an important role in increasing resilience and providing vital protection against climate change impacts. Alarmingly, the report finds that almost half of these sites are currently threatened by operations such as mining, large-scale infrastructure or oil and gas exploration since too often short-term financial gain is favoured over long-term sustainable development.