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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

World Environment Day: There is no Plan(et) B

Economy and environment can no longer be viewed as concepts independent of each other.

“Only One Earth” the theme which was used at the first global environment gathering in 1972, is being revived by Sweden for World Environment Day 2022. From countries suffering through waves of mutated Covid-19 to economies which just came out from a pandemic and facing a tough time ahead, to the Russia-Ukraine war which potentially holds the power to destroy the whole planet, 2022 is undoubtedly a watershed moment in the course of mankind and the steps that we take today will decide where our planet will be tomorrow.

According to Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, the cost of climate change is rising, as is the gap between what is being spent to adapt to climate change and what is needed. As recently as 2014, the cost of adaptation in developing nations was estimated at $100 billion a year. Today that figure is $500 billion. To limit the rise in global temperature, which is driving climate change, to 1.5C, worldwide CO2 emissions will need to halve by 2030. If there is no change in current plans, temperatures will be 2.7C higher by the end of the century.

Calculated annually by Global Footprint Network (GFN), Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the year on which the world stops living sustainably, is yet another way of measuring how mankind is using natural resources faster than they can be replaced naturally. The earlier in the year it falls, the more unsustainable life on Earth becomes. For what started as 31 December in 1970, Earth Overshoot Day was July 29 in 2021.

One thing is clear from the course the world has taken recently that we are on a make-or-break situation. Advancements in fields like green energy, electric mobility, rapidly growing energy efficient technologies are the only ways through we can grow sustainably. While Russia-Ukraine war has inflicted many injuries to innocent citizens, it has also brought forward the crucial idea of how being dependent on traditional sources of fuel is extremely unhealthy for economies as it adversely affects fiscal situations and pushes up inflation. The lesson is clear: Economy and environment can no longer be viewed as concepts independent of each other, complimentary growth in both of them is the only way to attract more money in future.


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