Damage To the Environment is the Reason behind Quarter of Global Premature Deaths: GEO

Damage To the Environment is the Reason behind Quarter of Global Premature Deaths: GEO
Damage To the Environment is the Reason behind Quarter of Global Premature Deaths: GEO

The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) found that the damage caused to the Environment by human made pollution is the reason behind 25% of premature deaths and diseases worldwide.

The Global Environment Outlook :

  • It is one of the most important International environmental reports.
  • It is the United Nations Environment Programme’s flagship environment assessment report.
  • First published in 1997, GEO is prepared through a participatory and consultative process.
  • It prepares an independent assessment of the state of environment and assess policy effectiveness vis a vis environmental challenges.
  • The GEO 2019 is the sixth report. It was six years in the making and 250 scientists from 70 nations participated in preparing the report.

Report Findings :

  • One of the key findings is that environmental damage is the leading caused for diseases and premature deaths worldwide.
  • Also, the report warned that there will be a rise in global epidemics due to emissions, polluted drinking water and destruction of ecosystems.
  • The report shows that overconsumption, food waste and pollution in the developed world is leading to poverty, disease and hunger elsewhere in the world.
  • It is well known that the rising greenhouse gas emissions are leading to droughts, superstorms , floods, threat of rising sea levels. But, not much is known about health emergencies due to pollution, mechanised food-chain, deforestation.
  • The GEO 2019 has brought out a list of health emergencies that might occur due to environment damage.
  • It states that 25% of global deaths, around 9 million in 2015 were due to poor environmental conditions.
  • Lack of access to clean drinking water caused 1.4 million deaths due to diseases like diarrhoea, and diseases due to water riddled with pathogens. All these are preventable diseases.
  • As per the report, chemicals pumped into the seas have the potential to causemulti-generational” adverse health effects.
  • In places where 3.2 billion people live, there is land degradation due to mega-farming and deforestation.
  • Annually, air pollution is causing 6-7 million deaths.

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Need Behaviour Detoxification :

  • The report calls for complete detoxification of current human behaviour calling that the present situation as unassailable.
  • It states that food waste accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions which can be reduced by changing the behaviour. Richer nations account for 56% of the food-waste.
  • The report also calls for rapid reduction in emissions and pesticide usage for quality air and water.

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Lessons For India :

  • Every other international environmental report showed that India will be the most hit due to climate change.
  • Now, the GEO report on environmental damage causing health emergencies is another thing that the country should worry due to its burgeoning population and weak public healthcare sector.
  • More steps are needed to be taken by the policy makers to rapidly reduce emissions in the country .
  • Also, effective policies must be brought out to reduce over-consumption in the country and promote sustainable ways of living.
  • GEO came at the right time to awaken the world to take effective steps in tackling the environmental issues which has become an existential question for the mankind.

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