World's environmental outlook grim, UN warns
Little progress made on goals set by nations
Posted: Jun 6, 2012 2:18 PM ET
Last Updated: Jun 6, 2012 5:16 PM ET
Two weeks before the start of a global conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janiero, the United Nations is warning that progress has stalled on key environmental goals the world's nations have set for themselves, like tackling climate change, combating desertification and protecting biodiversity.
"The world continues to speed down an unsustainable path despite over 500 internationally agreed goals and objectives to support the sustainable management of the environment and improve human well-being," the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) said when it released its Global Environmental Outlook Wednesday.
The world has made progress on only four out of 90 of the most pressing environmental goals and objectives agreed upon as part of the Millennium Development Goals and other international pacts, the UNEP said.
The four areas where the UN agency found significant progress are:
- Reducing substances that deplete the ozone layer.
- Removing lead from fuel.
- Increasing access to improved water supplies.
- Boosting research on ways to reduce pollution of the marine environment.
Little to no progress was made on climate change-related goals such as limiting the increase in average global temperature to less than 2 C above pre-industrial levels or in areas such as revitalization of depleted fish stocks, protection of biodiversity and the combating of desertification.
The article goes on to say:
The report also produced regional outlooks. It singled out North America and Europe for their "unsustainable levels of consumption" and highlighted the fact that North America lags behind other parts of the world when it comes to use of renewable energy.