By UN Environment
Our planet and humankind face three unprecedented, mutually reinforcing challenges: climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the overuse of critical natural resources.
In the past year, we have seen intense heatwaves and raging wildfires in Europe, the United States and in Japan cause huge economical loss and damage. In Africa and Asia, tropical cyclones and typhoons killed over a thousand people and devastated the lives of tens of millions more. In East Africa, droughts are getting more severe, the rains more intense. Somalia is at the edge of famine because of the drought.
We are also witnessing extreme loss of life in natural environments. In 2019, more than 27,000 species are threatened with extinction.
Our economic model today is overly dependent on the unsustainable use of natural resources. According to the United Nations, the extraction and processing of natural resources is the cause of half of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 80 to 90 per cent of biodiversity loss. Only nine per cent of man-made materials remain in circulation.
Time is running out. We need a coordinated, comprehensive and swift response to these challenges. We cannot continue with our traditional economic and consumption models. There is no planet B.