World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit

By Soko Directory Team / Published December 8, 2017 | 7:14 am





If every promise made in and around the United Nations Environment summit is met, 1.49 billion more people will breathe clean air, 480,000 km (or around 30 percent) of the world’s coastlines will be clean, and USD 18.6 billion for research and development and innovative programmes to combat pollution will come online.

During the close of the UN Environment Assembly summit in Nairobi, a number of resolutions and pledges promising to improve the lives of billions across the globe by cleaning up our air, land and water were made.

Dr. Edgar Gutiérrez, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and the President of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly noted that the science that had been portrayed at the assembly was prove that people have been so bad at looking after the planet that we have very little room to make more mistakes.

“With the promises made here, we are sending a powerful message that we will listen to the science, change the way we consume and produce, and tackle pollution in all its forms across the globe,” said Dr. Edgar Gutierrez.

Over 4,000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials, civil society representatives, activists and celebrities gathered at the three-day summit in Nairobi.

For the first time at a UN Environment Assembly, environment ministers issued a declaration. This declaration said nations would honour efforts to prevent, mitigate and manage the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans – which harms our health, societies, ecosystems, economies, and security.

The declaration committed to increasing research and development, targeting pollution through tailored actions, moving societies towards sustainable lifestyles based on a circular economy, promoting fiscal incentives to move markets and promote positive change, strengthening and enforcing laws on pollution, and much more.

The assembly also passed 13 non-binding resolutions and three decisions. Among them were moves to address marine litter and micro plastics, prevent and reduce air pollution, cut out lead poisoning from paint and batteries, protect water-based ecosystems from pollution, deal with soil pollution, and manage pollution in areas hit by conflict and terrorism.

A large part of the impact from the assembly comes from global support. UN Environment’s #BeatPollution campaign hit almost 2.5 million pledges during the event, with 88,000 personal commitments to act.

The global momentum comes not a moment too soon, as the UN Environment report, TheExecutive Director’s Report: Towards a Pollution-Free Planet, lays out.

Overall, environmental degradation causes nearly one in four of all deaths worldwide, or 12.6 million people a year, and the widespread destruction of key ecosystems. Air pollution is the single biggest environmental killer, claiming 6.5 million lives each year.

Exposure to lead in paint causes brain damage to 600,000 children annually. Our seas already contain 500 “dead zones” with too little oxygen to support marine life. Over 80 percent of the world’s wastewater is released into the environment without treatment, poisoning the fields where we grow our food and the lakes and rivers that provide drinking water to 300 million people.

There is also a huge economic cost. A recent report by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health says that welfare losses due to pollution are estimated at over USD 4.6 trillion each year, equivalent to 6.2 percent of global economic output.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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