World Environment Day: Earth ‘cannot keep up with our demands’ |

“It is vital that we protect the health of our atmosphere, the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems and finite resources. But we are failing to do so,” UN chief said.

We are asking too much of our planet to maintain unsustainable ways of life, he warned, noting that this harms not only the Earth but also its inhabitants.

Manage nature wisely

Since 1973This day has been used to raise awareness and create political momentum around growing environmental concerns, such as toxic chemical pollution, desertification and global warming. .

Since then, it has evolved into a global action platform, helping to drive change in consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.

By providing food, clean water, medicine, climate regulation and protection from extreme weather events, Mr. Guterres reminds that a healthy environment is essential for people and Sustainable development goals (SDG).

“It is essential that we manage nature wisely and ensure equitable access to its services, especially for vulnerable people and communities,” said Mr. Guterres. best”.

Ecosystem is on fire

More than three billion people are affected by degraded ecosystems. Pollution causes about 9 million premature deaths each year and more than a million species of plants and animals at risk of extinction – many within decades, according to the head of the United Nations.

“Nearly half of humanity is already in a climate hazard zone – 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts such as extreme temperatures, floods and droughts,” he said. adding that there is a 50:50 chance that global temperatures will breach the Paris Agreement 1.5℃ limit for the next five years.

And by 2050, more than 200 million people a year are at risk of being displaced by climate change.


When world leaders met 50 years ago in United Nations conference on human environmentThey are committed to protecting the planet.

“But we are far from successful. We can no longer ignore the alarm bells ringing every day,” warned the top UN official.

Recently Stockholm Environment Meeting + 50 reiterates that all 17 sustainable development goals rely on a healthy planet to avert the three crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

He called on Governments to prioritize climate action and protect the environment through policy decisions that promote sustainable progress.

Renewable Energy Acceleration

The Secretary-General made recommendations to enable renewable energy everywhere by making renewable technologies and materials available to all, cutting red tape, transitioning subsidies and doubling three times investment.

“Businesses need to put sustainability at the heart of their decision-making for the benefit of their people and bottom line. A healthy planet is the backbone of nearly every industry on Earth, he said.

He advocates for the empowerment of women and girls as “powerful agents of change”, including decision-making at all levels. And highlight the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge to help protect fragile ecosystems.

Successful tracking

The UN chief stressed that history has shown what can be achieved when we put the planet first, pointing to a continent-sized hole in the ozone layer that makes every nation commit The Montreal Protocolgradually remove chemicals that deplete the ozone layer.

“This year and next will bring even more opportunities for the global community to demonstrate the power of multilateralism in addressing our intertwined environmental crises, from negotiations on a new global biodiversity framework to reverse nature loss by 2030 to the establishment of a treaty on tackling plastics. pollution,” he said.

Mr Guterres reiterated the UN’s commitment to lead global collaborative efforts, “because the only way forward is to work with nature, not against it”.

‘Run against the clock’

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Andersen, remind that the international day was born at the 1972 United Nations Conference in the Swedish capital, with the understanding that “we need to stand up to protect the air, the land and the water on which we all depend. …[and] that human strength is important, and very important”.

“Today, as we look to the present and future of heatwaves, droughts, floods, wildfires, pandemics, dirty air and oceans full of plastic and yes, the act of war matters more. ever, and we are running back in time.”

Andersen puts the responsibility bluntly “on all of us.”

She stressed that politicians must look beyond elections to “intergenerational victory”; Financial institutions should fund the planet, and businesses should be accountable to nature.

Consequences of war

Meanwhile, David Boyd, United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, warning that conflict is increasing environmental destruction and rights violations.

“Peace is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development and full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment,” he said.

Conflict consumes “large amounts” of energy; generates “huge emissions of climate-disrupting greenhouse gases”, increases toxic air, water and soil pollution, and destroys natureHe argued.

The UN-appointed independent expert highlighted the environmental consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its rights implications, including the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, saying that it will take years to repair the damage.

“Many countries have announced plans to expand their oil, gas and coal production in response to war,” said Boyd, noting that the reconstruction and restoration proposals are worth billions of dollars. post-conflict, will also add to environmental pressures. face the world.

The destruction of thousands of buildings and essential infrastructure will leave millions without safe drinking water – another essential right.

As the world grapples with climate disturbances, biodiversity loss and pervasive pollution, the UN expert stressed: “End wars, ensure peace and begin processes It is imperative that the healing and recovery process be as soon as possible in human terms.”

Explosive weapon damage in Bucha, Ukraine

© UNDP / Yevhenii Zavhorodnii

Explosive weapon damage in Bucha, Ukraine

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