As this decade comes to an end, the world has seen progress on many fronts. The poorest countries have greater access to water, electricity, and sanitation (i.e., a toilet). Poverty and child mortality have fallen. Technology has spread far and wide so that there are now more mobile phones than people. But we’ve also broken some of the wrong kinds of records. In 2019, more people were forcibly displaced than any other time in history. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit an all-time high and biodiversity is declining at an accelerating rate. These charts highlight some remarkable achievements and the serious challenges that remain as we head into 2020.
When people talk about biodiversity, it is often through the lens of conservation and the survival of animal and plant species. But the value drawn from a healthy biosphere is much more than that – it delivers a steady supply of food, water, jobs and livelihoods and helps to regulate climate.
1 million plant and animal species (out of 8 million) face extinction within decades, according to the latest scientific assessments, and deforestation and soil degradation have reached epic levels.Our oceans are overfished and polluted with plastic;
This week I was at the G7 meeting in France’s northern city of Metz, discussing biodiversity with Environment Ministers from the Group of Seven countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States), along with delegations from countries such as Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Niger and Norway. Thanks to France’s leadership, the G7 meetings culminated in what is known as the Metz Charter on Biodiversity, elevating biodiversity on the global agenda.
This story is part of a series that will run ahead of the third edition of the One Planet Summit which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 14, 2019. The Summit brings together global leaders, entrepreneurs, international organizations, and civil society, to help accelerate and focus attention on climate investments in line with the Paris Agreement objectives. The Summit will focus on promoting renewable energies, fostering resilience and adaptation and protecting biodiversity in Africa. Follow #OnePlanetSummit for live updates and tune in live on March 14.