Unless leaders make the right choices about recovering from the epidemic to avoid the entrenchment of environmental problems and social inequalities, the world faces a future that swings from one crisis to the next, reversing the gains made in recent decades in health, education, social freedom and fighting poverty, the United Nations warned.
The unprecedented effects of the coronavirus pandemic, along with Environmental crises Facing the world, threatening to undermine human progress and development, making societies around the world vulnerable and more uneven, according to a new report Development program (United Nations Development Programme).
Pedro Conceicao, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program and lead author of his latest human development report, published on Tuesday, said governments are making such choices now, and they will affect societies around the world for many years to come.
These include stimulus packages that favor fossil fuels or add to the unsustainable use of resources, and spending that fails to address health and education problems.
He said, “These choices are being made as we speak.” The consequences are before our eyes. Climate change It might sound remote to some people, but it really does happen, see the evidence. We have no time to lose. “
The Guardian found that states They have so far failed to fulfill the promises they made to pursue a “green recovery” From the Covid-19 crisis, and are pumping money instead to support the current high-carbon economy. Experts warn that time is running out, as the money earmarked for fossil fuels now will drive emissions for decades to come. Greenhouse gas emissions, which It fell this spring as lockdowns dominated Many countries Already rebound.
No country has ever reached such a high level of material progress without incurring an exorbitant cost to the planet, according to The United Nations Development Program report The Next Frontier: Human Development and the AnthropoceneOn the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Annual Human Development Reports.
But if states are judged by their carbon footprint and resource use, and the harms caused by these, then according to the report, the progress made so far in most of the rich world has been eliminated by both current and future damages. For the ecosystems we depend on, through our excessive use of resources and carbon emissions.
For 30 years, the Human Development Report has focused not only on the economy, but also on measures of health, education, and living standards in countries. The new report takes two new components: material consumption and Carbon emissions, To reflect the dramatic increase in resource use in recent years and its impact on the climate.
Much of the burden of environmental damage will fall on young people, said Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth: “While humanity has achieved incredible things, it is clear that we have taken our planet for granted.
“All over the world young people have spoken, realizing that these actions are endangering our collective future. We need to change our relationship with the planet – to make energy and material consumption sustainable.”
The epidemic has also exacerbated existing inequality, Conceicao said. The Human Development Report highlights the issue of women’s participation in the workforce in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. This was on an upward trend, but down by 10 percentage points due to the pandemic, reversing decades of positive change.
Economic and social inequalities have also been reinforced: access to health care has been restricted for many of the poorest people, as health systems around the world have been overwhelmed; And kids, Even in developed countries, Who lacked internet access or reliable electricity, lost the opportunity to study when classes were forced to go online.
Belinda Ryers, director of the Stockholm Center for Resilience, who contributed to the HDR, said measures of human well-being and progress need to take into account the environment and pressures on the planet and climate.
“Successive crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic show that in our highly interconnected and rapidly changing world, the environment and human development are no longer separate or separable. They are deeply intertwined.” “Human development from now on is about making good choices for people and the planet.”