The UN Environment Programme’s fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) book was released here in New Delhi by Dr RK Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Chairman, IPCC. The report has been released in 40 cities around the world simultaneously. The book puts the global environment scenario in sloth and neglect, even though sucessful actions have been taken.
The Global Environment Outlook: environment for development report is the culmination of five years of intensive consultation with stakeholders in all regions of the world. It links findings on the state of the environment with policy analyses, incorporating historical, current and future perspectives, combining global perspectives with sub-global views. GEO-4 also highlights emerging environmental issues that require policy attention. The GEO-4 assessment has used the 1987 report – Our Common Future – of the World Commission on Environment and Development as the baseline for the retrospective analysis of environmental trends and development in the past 20 years. It highlights both environment and development issues, focusing on human well-being and role of environment in development.
The 540-page report calls for emissions of climate warming greenhouse gases to be cut by 60% to 80%. It highlights that 60% of the world’s ecosystems have been degraded and are still being used unsustainably. The report is a litany of planetwide death and degradation and GEO-4 finds that three million people die needlessly each year from water-borne diseases in developing nations —mostly children under five.
Dr R. K. Pachauri, while commenting on the books exclusivity reconfimed the fact that “Global peace and stability would be threatened by climate change and the need of the hour is to act now, or its too late.” He went on and urged “not only governments need to make stringent laws but also people need to have lifestyle changes too, and it is these small changes that can make a huge impact”
Expressing his disappointment at the world community for not doing enough to reduce carbon emmissions, he also added that “the developing countries are aping the developed world and counties such as India which will have a stake in future global decisions will have to make new norms to combat the future.”
The UNEP Report, drawn together by 388 scientists and vetted by 1,000 others, praises international treaties on saving the ozone layer, desertification, biodiversity and actions in some cities on controlling urban atmospheric pollution. But, it emphasises that “woefully inadequate” global response to problems, such as cutting emissions of carbon gases from power and transport, according to the scientists it will boost average temperatures up by 4°Celsius by this century.