The report stresses that “unsustainable human activities globally have degraded the Earth’s ecosystems, endangering the ecological foundations of society."
The first Global Environment Outlook report was released in 1997. Its sixth iteration was released in time for this year’s U.N. Environment Assembly, currently taking place in Nairobi. But it also comes on the heels of another U.N. report, issued in October, which said that the international community has 12 years to limit the disastrous effects of climate change.
That climate report and Wednesday’s report on the environment both address the question of whether humans can continue business as usual and have enough clean air to breathe, water to drink and nourishing food to eat by 2050. Their answer is a resounding “no.”
Whether political leaders and policymakers will decide to heed the warnings is another question. President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change, and his nominee to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Knight Craft, is on record as saying she believes “both sides” of the climate change debate.