Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20

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The report is produced as part of UNEP's "Global Environmental Outlook-5" (GEO -5) series, the UN's most authoritative assessment of the state, trends and outlook of the global environment. The full GEO-5 report will be launched next May, one month ahead of the Rio+20 Conference taking place in Brazil.

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Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20

  1. 1. 300 million ha forest area loss + 0.4˚CGlobalization change technology
  2. 2. Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment From Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012) i
  3. 3. ForewordIn 1992, the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable graphs show upward and downward trends, which, along with satelliteDevelopment, popularly known as the Rio Earth Summit, was convened images, tell the story of dramatic changes.in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to address the state of the environment andsustainable development. The Earth Summit yielded several important Maintaining a healthy environment remains one of the greatest globalagreements including “Agenda 21”, a plan of action adopted by over challenges. Without concerted and rapid collective action to curb and178 governments to address human impacts on the environment at decouple resource depletion and the generation of pollution fromlocal, national and global levels, and key treaties on climate change, economic growth, human activities may destroy the very environmentdesertification and biodiversity. At the second Conference in 2002—the that supports economies and sustains life.World Summit on Sustainable Development—governments agreed The upcoming Rio+20 Conference presents a timely, global-levelon the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, reaffirming their opportunity to address one of its own stated objectives: to assesscommitment to Agenda 21. In 2012, the United Nations Conference progress and gaps in implementing goals as part of an accelerationon Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 Earth Summit, will focus and scaling-up of transformative actions, programmes and policies. Ason the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development, we move towards the Rio+20 Conference in an ever-more globalisedpoverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable and integrated world, the need to chart progress towards a globaldevelopment. The object is to renew political commitment to Green Economy and more efficient and effective internationalsustainable development, review progress and identify implementation environmental governance becomes vital. Without quantified targets,gaps, and address new and emerging challenges. our environmental goals cannot turn theory into reality. Numeric andThis publication serves as a timely update on what has occurred time-bound targets have certainly aided in progress made towards thesince the Earth Summit of 1992 and is part of the wider Global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for example, and should beEnvironment Outlook-5 (GEO-5) preparations that will lead to the applied towards our environmental objectives as well.release of the landmark GEO-5 report in May 2012. It underlines This publication helps to tell the story of where the world was 20how in just twenty years, the world has changed more than most of years ago and where we collectively stand today, and to show theus could ever have imagined—geopolitically, economically, socially direction in which we need to move in a post-Rio+20 world. It alsoand environmentally. Very few individuals outside academic and highlights the missing pieces in our knowledge about the state ofresearch communities envisaged the rapid pace of change or foresaw environment— such as those related to freshwater quality and quantity,developments such as the phenomenal growth in information and ground water depletion, ecosystem services, loss of natural habitat, landcommunication technologies, ever-accelerating globalisation, private degradation, chemicals and waste—due to lack of regular monitoring,sector investments across the world and the rapid economic rise of collection and compilation of data. Scientifically-credible data fora number of “developing” countries. Many rapid changes have also environmental monitoring remains inadequate and the challenge oftaken place in our environment, from the accumulating evidence building in-country capacity to produce better policy-relevant dataof climate change and its very visible impacts on our planet, to needs urgent attention.biodiversity loss and species extinctions, further degradation of landsurfaces and the deteriorating quality of oceans. Certainly, there have We hope this report will inform all those participating in the Rio+20been some improvements in the environmental realm, such as the events and the entire process and help set the world on a path towardssignificant reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals and the emergence a more sustainable environment.of renewable energy sources, new investments into which totalledmore than $200 thousand million in 2010. But in too many areas,the environmental dials continue to head into the red.This innovative report is based entirely on statistical data and indicatorsand shows where the world stands on many social, economic andenvironmental issues as we enter the second decade of the 21st century. Achim SteinerDrivers of environmental change including population increase and United Nations Under-Secretary-Generaleconomic growth, and especially the status of natural resources andlandscapes, are clearly illustrated. Numbers plotted on straightforward and Executive Director, UNEP ii
  4. 4. Table of Contents iv Introduction & Scope 30 Warmest Years on Record 64 Saudi Arabia Irrigation Project (Satellite Image) 31 Earth Global Temperature Changes by Latitude 65 Organic Farming v What’s New Since Rio 1992? 32 Ocean Temperature Deviation 66 Selected Crops in Humid Tropical 32 Global Mean Sea Level Countries, Areavii Goals & Targets in the 33 Ocean Acidification 66 Selected Crops in Humid Tropical Countries, Global Environment Change in Area 34 Mountain Glacier Mass Balance 67 Grazing Animal Herds Population & Human Development 35 September Arctic Sea Ice Extent 2 Total Population 35 September Arctic Sea Ice Extent (Satellite Image) Fisheries 2 Historical World Population 69 Exploitation of Fish Stocks Forests 3 Population Growth Rate 37 Forest Net Change 70 Total Fish Catch 4 Urban Population 70 Tuna Catches 37 Mangrove Forest Extent 5 Megacities 38 Mato Grosso, Amazon Rainforest (Satellite Image) 71 Fish Catch and Aquaculture Production 5 Top 10 Megacities 72 Shrimp and Prawn Aquacultures (Satellite Image) 39 Forest Plantation Extent 6 Population in China’s Pearl River Delta 39 Roundwood Production (Satellite Image) Energy 40 Certified Forest Area 74 Energy Consumption per Capita - Total 7 People Living in Slums 8 Age Distribution Water 74 Energy Consumption per Capita - Change 8 Life Expectancy 42 Improved Sanitation & Drinking Water Coverage 75 Electricity Production 9 Food Supply 43 Mesopotamian Marshlands (Satellite Image) 75 Electricity Production per Capita10 Human Development Index 76 Nightlights Biodiversity11 Proportion of Seats Held by Women 77 Primary Energy Supply 45 Living Planet Index in National Parliaments 78 Renewable Energy Supply, Total 46 Red List Index 78 Renewable Energy Supply, Change Economy 47 Protected Areas, Total Area 79 Biofuels Production13 GDP per Capita, Total 47 Protected Areas, Per cent 80 Investment in Sustainable Energy13 GDP per Capita, Change Chemicals & Waste 81 Nuclear Power Plants14 Per Capita Gross Domestic Product 49 Oil Spills from Tankers 81 Electricity Production & Nuclear Share14 Gross Domestic Product–per Capita (Map) 50 Plastics Production 82 Oil Sands (Satellite Image)15 Trade16 Global Materials Extraction Natural Hazards Industry, Transport & Tourism17 Resource Efficiency 52 Impacts of Natural Disasters 84 Cement & Steel Production 52 Reported Natural Disasters 85 Air Transport Environmental Trends 53 Floods–Mortality Risk, Exposure and Vulnerability 86 International Tourism, Arrivals Atmosphere 53 Tropical Cyclones - Mortality Risk, Exposure and Vulnerability Technology21 Emissions of CO2 - Total 88 Internet Users & Mobile Phone Subscribers21 Emissions of CO2 - per Capita Governance22 Emissions of CO2 - Total, by Type 55 Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Number 90 Epilogue22 Emissions of CO2 - Change, by Type and Signatories 55 Number of MEAs Signed (Map) 91 Data Sources23 Emissions of CO2 per GDP24 GHG Emitters by Sector 56 ISO 14001 Certifications 93 References25 Consumption of Ozone-Depleting Substances 57 Carbon Market Size25 Ozone Hole, Area and Minimum Ozone 58 Total Foreign Aid and Environmental Aid 93 Acronyms 59 Aid Allocated to Environmental Activities26 Ozone Hole Images 97 Technical Notes Climate Change Agriculture 61 Food Production Index 98 Annex for Aid To28 Atmospheric CO2 Concentration/Keeling Curve Environmental Activities29 Global Annual Mean Temperature Anomaly 62 Cereal Production, Area Harvested and Fertilizer Consumption29 Temperature Deviation 2000-2009 vs. Mean 99 Acknowledgments 1951-1980 (Map) 63 Total Area Equipped for Irrigation iii
  5. 5. Introduction & ScopeThis publication was conceived with the idea of showing how To ensure reliability, indicator charts are only presented for areasthe planet has changed in two decades—just twenty years— where all three data requirements were met. For areas wheresince decision-makers met at the United Nations Conference one or another of the criteria was not met, such as freshwateron Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. To water availability, groundwater depletion, land degradation andrelay this information in a compelling and succinct manner, chemicals and waste, any analysis might not be reliable, and soenvironmental and related trends are charted and presented trends are not provided. Also, the availability of data related tousing globally-aggregated (and mainly statistical) data sets the environment and natural resources that are disaggregatedcollected by international agencies, research bodies and other by gender (i.e., qualitatively) or sex (i.e., quantitatively) isofficial entities. generally poor, especially for developing countries.Major economic, environmental, social and technological The implications of any shortcomings in the data are clear. Totrends are shown through numerically-based graphs, with their promote evidence-based environmental policies and actions,upward, downward or stable trend lines as dictated by the the underlying data needed to support sound decision-makingdata. While most of these trends speak for themselves, short must be part of the equation and be of proven scientificexplanations of the phenomena observed are also provided for quality. Today, there are several reasons why the quality offurther elucidation. Also included are a number of illustrative international statistics varies greatly. First, statistics may not“before and after” satellite images, primarily covering the same be available at the national level; second, the statistics thattime period of 1992-2010 and showing environmental changes are collected may be of poor quality or outdated; and third,at the local level. In some cases, these impacts are ongoing. the comparability of statistics over time inherently presents challenges. These deficiencies and issues demonstrate the needScope and Methodology for a comprehensive data and information system to optimally manage the vast array of related policy, scientific, technical,Most of the time-series data were collected directly from methodological and practical issues. For this to be achieved,countries and aggregated to regional and global levels by the following steps are necessary:authoritative international agencies. The time series indicatorspresented here are based on the best and most comprehensive (1) strengthen national-level capacity for collecting anddata available to date. compiling environmental observations, especially where data gaps exist;Three main criteria were used to select the indicators employedin this publication. First, an approximately 20-year temporal (2) publish and provide access to data using various media; anddata record on which the trend charts could be based wasrequired, so as to accurately portray the time period in question. (3) develop services to efficiently and rapidly provide informationIn a few cases (and particularly for recent phenomena such as to decision-makers in (an) understandable format(s).carbon trading), a correspondingly shorter time period was used Thus, a comprehensive capability at the global scale is neededto provide at least a partial picture to date. Second, the data on to pull together and analyze the wealth of data collectionswhich the charts are based had to be global in coverage—that that are available, and to enhance data collection for areasis, covering all or at least most countries so as to represent the where information may be lacking. Within these limitations, itentire world and not only certain regions. Third, the data had is hoped that this publication provides a clear and reasonablyto be clearly sourced and taken from authoritative and reliable comprehensive twenty-year story on the state and trends ininstitutions with extensive experience in the thematic areas environment and development since 1992.treated in each case. iv
  6. 6. “What’s New?” since Rio 1992 In terms of environment, what did not exist or was not well-known in 1992?In the twenty years since the first Earth Summit in 1992, the Perhaps the ways in which our environment has changed areworld has changed in ways most of us could not imagine. not so immediately obvious to everyone, but they are at least asThe Internet, mobile phones and other information and significant. Natural resources are being depleted or degraded—communications technologies have made the world a much sometimes before we realize it—and certain metals seem tosmaller place—and more of a ‘globalized village’. An estimated become “rare” all of a sudden. The ever-increasing demandfive billion people have subscribed to mobile phone services for resources such as water, energy, food, minerals and landand there are some two billion Internet users worldwide. Social is driven by growing populations with rising incomes, whilemedia have further increased connectivity in recent years, with in parallel these resources are increasingly constrained byFacebook, for example, having more than 800 million users ecosystem changes, inherent variability of weather conditionssince it was launched in 2004. At the same time, space-based and resource productivity, and the impacts of climate change.satellites can now even zoom in to street level, and provide Within the context of the “mega-trends” taking place indetailed images in real-time on sophisticated smart-phones. our rapidly changing world and society, a number of newWe also see that economic power and production patterns are environmental issues and phenomena have arisen since 1992:shifting among regions to the East and South, and that overalltrade volumes are rising steeply.Evolution of the Internet: 1992-2012 1992 2012 v
  7. 7. New Multilateral Environmental Agreements Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) for forest products,and Conventions the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for fish products, andSeveral new Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and “bio” or organic labels for many agricultural products includingConventions have been established or entered into force in the coffee, tea and dairy products.last two decades to address emerging global environmentalissues, including the United Nations Framework Convention Genetically Modified Organismson Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been researchedDiversity (CBD), agreements related to chemicals (Basel, for decades, but have gained widespread attention in recentRotterdam and Stockholm Conventions), and the United Nations years, mainly due to prospects for increased food production.Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). However, they remain controversial for a variety of reasons.Awareness of Climate Change RecyclingAmong much debate and controversy, Climate Change has Although recycling efforts are only beginning in many partsbecome a “hot topic” and entered the policy arena, topping of the world, processing waste into new resources, productsthe global environmental agenda. and materials is becoming mainstream policy and practice in several countries and regions.The Green EconomyViable pathways for fundamentally shifting economic Commercialization of Biofuels, Solar and Wind Energydevelopment to become more low-carbon, climate resilient, While the overall use of renewable energy is still modest,resource efficient, and socially inclusive, as well as for valuing biofuels are gaining a significant market share, and wind andecosystem services, are now being proposed widely and solar power production is increasing steeply. Windmills andincreasingly pursued. solar panels are increasingly abundant, and in the transport sector, hybrid cars have entered the streets and air transportCarbon Trading and other Environmental Market Tools using biofuels are becoming a reality.Placing a monetary value on greenhouse gas emissions andcreating a market for trade in carbon is a new and increasingly Chemicals Managementutilized concept to address climate change. Other new market Management of toxic and other hazardous chemicals thatframeworks include biodiversity offset and compensation threaten human and ecosystem health has improved. A numberprograms, habitat credit trading and conservation banking, with of deadly chemicals have been banned, and as of January 2010a goal toward reducing biodiversity loss and mainstreaming the world is free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) production.impacts into economic decisions. Worldwide, at least 45compensatory mitigation programs and more than 1 100mitigation banks now exist (UNDP and GEF 2011). Nano Materials Nanotechnology offers significant opportunities and benefitsMarkets for Organic Products and Eco-labeling for industry and society at large, especially in the fields of energy, health care, clean water and climate change. But debateConsumer demand for goods that are produced in a sustainable about this new technology continues and related potentialway has boosted certification and eco-labeling, such as the environmental hazards and risks could be emerging.Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the vi
  8. 8. Goals & Targets in the global environmentOne of the obstacles to achieving environmental goals set by the Specific Sets of Environmental Targetsinternational community is the lack of sufficient, solid data and The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)monitoring systems to measure progress. While for two of theinterdependent areas of sustainable development—economic In September 2000, leaders from 189 nations agreed on a visiondevelopment and social development—the goals are normally for the future: a world with less poverty, hunger and disease;measured and tracked quantitatively, environmental targets greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants; better-are largely defined in qualitative terms. On the other hand, educated children; equal opportunities for women; a healthierthose environmental agreements for which specific numerical environment; and a world in which developed and developingtargets were set, have been relatively successful. Already in countries work in partnership for the betterment of all. Thisthe 1960s, for example, the World Commission on Protected vision took the shape of eight Millennium Development GoalsAreas (WCPA) set a target of 10% of global land area to be (MDGs), which provide a framework of time-bound targetsdesignated as formally protected; today, nearly 13% of the by which progress can be measured. A concise framework ofworld’s surface is now set aside as protected. Similarly, the eight goals and 21 targets towards the MDGs was adopted,Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer along with 60 indicators to measure and show progress. Whiledefines mandatory targets and specific timeframes within which environment as a crosscutting theme is part of several MDGs,the required reductions must be met, and it conducts regular its significance in the overall framework is most prominentlyreviews of phase-outs in accordance with scientific updates. highlighted in MDG-7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.It has been hailed as perhaps the most effective environmental MDG-7 is divided into four targets as set forth below. Theyagreement to date. More such initiatives are needed to promote emphasize sustainability principles and reversing naturalevidence-based environmental policies and measure progress. resource degradation; reducing biodiversity loss; increasingThe following is a summary of environment-related goals that access to safe drinking water and sanitation; and improvingincorporate targets and indicators since 1992. slums (Table 1).Table 1: UN Millennium Development Goal-7 Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability targets Indicators Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of sustainable 7.1 Proportion of land area covered by forest development into country policies and programmes 7.2 CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP) and reverse the loss of environmental resources 7.3 Consumption of ozone-depleting substances 7.4 Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits Target 7.B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 7.5 Proportion of total water resources used 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss 7.6 Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 7.7 Proportion of species threatened with extinction Target 7.C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people 7.8 Proportion of population using an improved drinking without sustainable access to safe drinking water and water source basic sanitation 7.9 Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility Target 7.D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant 7.10 Proportion of urban population living in slums improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers vii
  9. 9. The World Summit on Sustainable Development the Parties adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period, including the set of AichiAdditional environmental targets were subsequently adopted Biodiversity Targets comprising five strategic goals and 20 targets.in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development However, these targets have no clear numerical goals, except(WSSD). These relate to: fisheries; marine protection; biodiversity the following ones:loss; access to renewable energy; and phasing out of organicpollutants (Table 2). Target 5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasibleTable 2: Environmental targets adopted at the WSSD, 2002 brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced. Targets Indicators Target 11: By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland Maintain or restore depleted fish To be determined waters, and 10% of coastal and marine areas, especially stocks to levels that can produce areas of particular importance for biodiversity and the maximum sustainable yield by 2015 ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well- Reverse the loss of biodiversity Identified by Convention connected systems of protected areas and other effective by 2010 on Biological Diversity (CBD) area-based conservation measures, and integrated into Establish a representative network To be determined the wider landscapes and seascapes. of marine protected areas by 2012 To conclude, with specific quantitative goals being absent, the Increase the share of renewable To be determined energy in the total energy supply, above targets may read more like recommendations. However, and provide 35% of African when goals incorporate numerical levels or values, the required households with modern energy achievement is more clearly defined and potentially obtainable. within 20 years In fact, empirical evidence shows that goal-setting can work Phase out by 2020, production To be determined when clear quantitative targets are set. Another lesson learned and use of chemicals that harm from the history of environmental target-setting is that it works health and environment best for well-defined issues, such as the phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) or leaded gasoline, and for issues related to industrial chemicals for which technologies exist orThe Copenhagen Accord can be developed to solve environmental problems associatedIn 2009, the Copenhagen Accord recognised the need for with their production and use. Finally, it has become clearemission targets that will hold the increase in global temperature that it is critical to have baseline information to allow progressbelow 2°C —equated by scientists to a concentration level of towards the targets to be tracked. For example, relatively little450 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. measurable progress has been made—or can be demonstrated—The Accord today is supported by 114 countries. towards the WSSD target to “reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2010”, since there are insufficient, reliable and comprehensiveAichi Biodiversity Targets biodiversity baseline data upon which to base trends andAt its tenth meeting in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010, the assess progress.Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of viii
  10. 10. Population &Human Development Brian Gratwicke/Flickr.com 1
  11. 11. Since 1992, the human population has grown by 1 450 000 000people... Since 1992, the world’s Thousand Million People Total Population population increased by an 8 annual rate of 1.3%, adding Global nearly 1 500 million people to +26% the planet. Between 1992 and since 1992 West Asia +67% 2010, world population grew +21% North America from around 5 500 million 6 28% + Latin America & to close to 7 000 million, Caribbean representing a 26% increase. + 4% Europe There are large differences 53% + Africa in population numbers and changes between regions. For 4 example, nearly 60% of the global population lives in Asia, 15% in Africa, and another 15% in North America and 26% + Asia + Pacific Europe combined. However, 2 total population increases are much greater in West Asia (67% since 1992) and Africa (53%), while the population Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPD number in Europe has grown 0 only slightly (4%). 1992 1997 2002 2007 2010Thousand Million People1 World Population since 10 000 BC Source: U.S. Census Bureau0 10 000 9 000 8 000 7 000 6 000 5 000 4 00 2
  12. 12. ...however, the population growth rate is declining Thousand Million Per Cent Population Growth Rate People 9 2 8 1.5 Developing 2012 Global 7 1 6 Developed 1992 0.5 5 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPD 0 1992 1997 2002 2007 2010 4At the same time the population growth rate has been declining during the past several decades,dropping from around 1.65% per year in the early 1990s to 1.2% per year in the late 2000s. This 3represents a 27% decline in the growth rate between 1992 and 2010. There is a strong correlationbetween a country’s economic state and its growth rate: developing countries tend to have a 2-3times higher growth rate than developed countries. 2This overall, global “decrease in the increase” means that the world’s population and its populationgrowth rate are increasing more slowly, and could eventually stabilise around 10 thousand millionpeople in 2100 (UN 2011). 1 3 000 2 000 1 000 0 1 000 2 050 3
  13. 13. In 2011, over 3 500 million people—more than half the world’s population—are living in urban areasThousand Million Urban Population - Total In 1992, 2 400 million of us lived in urban People 4 agglomerations. By 2009, the number had climbed Global to 3 500 million, a 45% increase. The additional 3 1 000 million “urban people”—nearly 200 000 new Developing city dwellers per day—are the equivalent of 32 times 2 the population of Tokyo, or 110 times that of Paris (Brinkhoff 2011). 1 Developed This unprecedented urban growth, projected to continue (although at a decreasing rate) in the coming 0 UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPD 1992 1997 2002 2007 2009 decades, will require special attention in order to make life in cities more socially, economically and Per Cent Urban Population - Per Cent of Total Population environmentally sustainable. 80 Developed While over half of the world population now lives 70 in urban areas, they also account for 75% of global energy consumption (UN-Habitat 2009) and 80% 60 of global carbon emissions (The World Bank Group Global 2010), at least when viewed from a consumption 50 Developing perspective (Satterthwaite 2011). On the other hand, 40 the top 25 cities in the world create more than half of the world’s wealth (UN-Habitat 2008). UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPD 30 1992 1997 2002 2007 2009 This ongoing rapid urbanisation indicates that long-term investments addressing the associated Urban Population - Growth Rate Per Cent vulnerabilities are critically needed. “[The] urgency is 3 acute considering that 30-50% of the entire population of cities in developing countries live in settlements Developing that have been developed in environmentally fragile 2 Global areas, vulnerable to flooding or other adverse climate conditions, and where the quality of housing is poor 1 Developed and basic services are lacking” (UN 2009b). UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPD 0 1992 1997 2002 2007 2009 4
  14. 14. The number of “megacities” has more than doubled since 1990 Megacities According to UN-Habitat, megacitiesNumber of Megacities >10 Million Inhabitants are high density metropolises with 24 at least 10 million inhabitants. The 21 number of these megacities climbed 19 from 10 in 1992 to 21 in 2010, a 18 +110% 110% increase, adding on average one 16 since 1990 megacity every two years. Fifteen of the world’s 21 megacities are found 13 in developing countries. The largest 12 10 megacity today is Tokyo which counts nearly 37 million persons, more than Canada’s total population. 6 With large and dense metropolises come the associated environmental Source: UNPD impacts of urban life. Very dense 0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 population structures and people living in close quarters bring sanitation, waste management, air quality, pollution Top 10 Megacities 2010 Million People Rank 1990 and other concerns for residents and 1 Tokyo, Japan 36.7 1 the environment alike. Not only do 2 Delhi, India 22.2 11 anthropogenic factors play a major 3 Sao Paulo, Brazil 20.3 4 role in megacities but the natural 4 Mumbai, India 20.0 5 environment also presents risks to highly concentrated populations 5 Mexico City, Mexico 19.5 3 including floods, mudslides, tsunamis 6 New Y ork-Newark, USA 19.4 2 and earthquakes (UN 2009b, UN- 7 Shanghai, China 16.6 18 Habitat 2009). 8 Kolkata, India 15.6 7 9 Dhaka, Bangladesh 14.6 23 10 Karachi, Pakistan 13.1 21 Source: UNPD 5
  15. 15. The population of China’s Pearl River Delta has tripled since 1992 and includes two of the world’s megacities Source: USGS; Visualization UNEP-GRID Sioux FallsThe Greater Pearl River Delta area in southeastern China is the world’s largest “mega-region” with a population ofapproximately 120 million people (UN 2010). Over the past two decades, the populations of the delta cities of Guangzhouand Shenzhen have each reached nearly 10 million people while Hong Kong, Foshan and Dongguan have grown to around5 million each (UN 2009). The individual cities are beginning to merge into one contiguous urban area. The core delta areashown in the above image had a little over 20 million people in the early 1990s but has since tripled to roughly 60 millionpeople (SEDAC 2010). This intense urbanization has led to the loss of productive farmland and natural areas among otherenvironmental problems (Yan and others 2009). 6
  16. 16. A smaller proportion of urban dwellers live in slums, but their total number has risen to 827 000 000 Population in Slums People Living in Slums Proportion of Urban [Million People] Population in Slums [%] 1 000 50 46% P erce ntage 827 Million 800 40 r umbe Total N lion 656 Mil 33% 600 30 Source: UN-Habitat 400 20 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010Since 1990, the share of the urban population living in slums in the developing world has declined significantly, droppingfrom 46% in 1990 to 33% in 2010. This decrease shows that many efforts to give inhabitants of slums access to improvedwater or sanitation, and/or more durable housing have been successful. On the other hand, the absolute number of peopleliving in slums has increased by 26% over the same period, equaling 171 million additional people and raising theirnumber from 656 million in 1990 to 827 million in 2010. “Redoubled efforts will be needed to improve the lives of thegrowing numbers of urban poor in cities and metropolises across the developing world” (UN 2011b).Note:A slum household is defined as a group of individuals living under the same roof lacking one or more of these conditions: access to improved water;access to improved sanitation; sufficient-living area; durability of housing; security of tenure. However, since information on secure tenure is notavailable for most of the countries, only the first four indicators are used to define slum household, and then to estimate the proportion of urbanpopulation living in slums (UNSD n.d.). 7
  17. 17. The population aged over 65 is growing at a faster rate than other age groups in most regions of the world Age Distribution Life ExpectancyMillion People - High and Low Age Groups - Years 2 000 80 Developing, Total, > 65 years North America 1 500 Developing, Total, < 14 years Europe 1 000 Latin America & Caribbean 500 70 West Asia Developed, Total, > 65 years Asia + Pacific Developed, Total, < 14 years 0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Global Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from UNPDWhile the population of the groups below 14 and above 65 years of age in all developed countriestogether has remained largely the same since 1990, this population in developing countries hascontinued to grow (from 1 760 million to 2 040 million in 2010, an increase of 16%).At the same time, there are significant differences in age structure between developed anddeveloping regions. In the developed countries, the number of persons over 65 has been 60increasing rapidly, and now nearly equals the under 14 population. By contrast, in the developingcountries, the under 14 population continues to grow and far outstrips the over 65 age group,although the latter is also rising, both in numbers and percentage of total population.This developed-developing countries’ dichotomy, as well as the fact that older populations aregrowing faster than the total population and that the difference in growth rates is increasing, has Africamajor implications for economies, the education and health care sectors, and the environmentitself (UN 2009).Life expectancy depends heavily on good public health, medical care and a balanced diet, aswell as peaceful and stable surroundings. Although living conditions improved in all regions and 50 1990 2010globally the average life span increased by four to eight years, Africa lags far behind, noting that Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiledthere are large differences within the continent. from UNPD 8
  18. 18. The average global citizen consumes 43 kg of meat per year, up from 34 kg in 1992 Food Supply - Meat, Fish & Seafood - Index, 1992=100 140 Fish & Seafood + 32% since 1992 130 Meat + 26% since 1992 + 22% 120 since 1992 Global Population 110 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from FAO 100 1992 1997 2002 2007Global dietary patterns have changed enormously over the last decades. “Income growth, relative price changes,urbanization and shifts in consumer preferences have altered dietary patterns particularly in developing countries” (FAO2008). Diets shifted away from basic foods towards livestock products, as well as oils, fruits and vegetables, increasing thedemand for meat by 26% and for fish and seafood by 32% between 1992 and 2007. During that time, for example, globalaverage meat consumption grew from 34 kg per person per year to 43 kg. Nearly all of these increases can be attributedto growing demand in Asia and to a lesser extent, Latin America. Based on different studies and considering the entirecommodity chain (including deforestation for grazing, forage production, etc), meat production accounts for 18-25% of theworld’s greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP 2009, Fiala 2008, FAO 2006). 9
  19. 19. Human development levels are improving throughout the world, but there are large regional differences Human Development Index Index 1 OECD 0.8 Latin America and the Caribbean Global 0.6 Asia Africa 0.4 Source: UNDP 0.2 1990 2000 2010The Human Development Index (HDI), which serves as a frame of reference for both social and economic development,combines three dimensions to measure progress: a “long and healthy life” (life expectancy), “access to knowledge” (schoolenrollment) and “standard of living” (gross national income). Over the past 20 years, the HDI has grown globally by 2.5%per year, climbing from 0.52 in 1990 to 0.62 in 2010, or 19% overall, showing substantial improvement in many aspects ofhuman development. Although progress has been made, large differences in values and growth are visible between regions,with Africa lagging far behind.“Most people today are healthier, live longer, are more educated and have more access to goods and services. Even incountries facing adverse economic conditions, people’s health and education have greatly improved” (UNDP 2011). 10
  20. 20. Women’s influence, as measured by seats in national parliaments, is steadily rising Proportion of Seats Held by Women % of all Seats in National Parliaments 20 18 + 60% since 1997 16 14 12 Source: World Bank 10 1997 2002 2007 2010In the realm of gender parity, one indicator is the number of women in national parliaments. This figure has risen steadilyover the last 20 years, from roughly 12% in 1997 to 19% in 2010, representing a 60% increase. This equals over 8 600seats in more than 170 countries, up from just over 4 000 in 1997 (IPU 2011). “But this is far short of the target of 30% ofwomen in leadership positions that was to be met by 1995, and further still from the MDG target of gender parity” (UN2010). Women play a key role in improving environmental-related legislation and seeing that these measures are adequatelyfunded and implemented. 11
  21. 21. 12 Economy Nic McPhee/Flickr.com
  22. 22. GDP has continued to climb at a steady rate...Thousand Constant GDP per Capita Since 1992, the world’s overall 2000 US$ - Total - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has 40 increased significantly i.e., from Developed 33 800 US$/person/yr US$ 36 to 63 million millions in 2010, an increase of 75% or 3.2% 30 per year on average. GDP per capita rose by 40% in that same period. Due to strong economic growth in 20 many developing countries, their level of GDP per capita increased substantially, particularly in the 10 World 9 200 US$/person/yr last decade (80% since 1992, 45% Developing 5 300 since 2002). However, differences US$/person/yr between developing and developed 0 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank, UNPD countries on per capita basis 1992 1997 2002 2007 2010 are almost seven-fold, reflecting the wide economic discrepancy between these two worlds. GDP per Capita Index, 1992=100 - Change - Developing +80% GDP indicates the level of 180 since 1992 economic activity, but is often misinterpreted as a measure of a country’s living standard. However, 160 GDP as such does not adequately reflect standards of living, human World well-being or quality of life. 140 +39% One successful attempt to move since 1992 Developed measurements and indicators +33% since 1992 of development beyond GDP is the Human Development Index, 120 launched just before Rio 1992 and updated every year since. Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank, UNPD 100 1992 1997 2002 2007 2010 13
  23. 23. ...but huge differences in economic development persist GDP per Capita (2010*) below global mean above global mean no data available Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank, UNPDCertainlyfor year 2010; except or citizen data benefited from overall higher Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Iran (Islamic Republic of), All data not every country year 2009 has used for the following countries: levels of economic welfare. The gap between the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemenlowest and highest income countries remains large, with many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia still below theglobal average. In addition, many countries experience significant domestic income inequalities between rich and poor.In new and rising economic powers such as China and India, millions have been lifted out of poverty, but often at a highenvironmental cost. “The economic growth of recent decades has been accomplished mainly through drawing downnatural resources, without allowing stocks to regenerate, and through allowing widespread ecosystem degradation andloss” (UNEP 2011).*All data for year 2010; except year 2009 data used for the following countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen 14
  24. 24. The absolute value of trade among countries, a major aspect of globalisation, has tripled Trade - Total and Percentage of GDP - Million Million US$ % of GDP 40 80 30 60 Trade (% of GDP) 20 40 Trade (US$) 10 20 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank 0 0 1992 1997 2002 2007 2009Trade has been present throughout much of human history, but its importance in economic, social and political terms hasincreased steeply over the last decades, and is a main facet of what is generally understood by “globalisation”. The value ofinternationally traded products has tripled between 1992 and 2009, from over US$ 9 to 28 million millions. The share oftrade as of the global total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased in that period from 39% to 49%, reaching nearly 60%before the economic crisis in 2008. By far the largest sectors of international trade in 2010 concern mineral fuels and oils(15%), electrical and electronic equipment (13%), machinery (12%) and vehicles (7%) (ITC 2011). 15
  25. 25. As societies grow and become wealthier, demand for basic materials is further increasingThousand Million Global Materials Extraction Tonnes 80 +41% since 1992 60 Ores and Industrial Minerals Fossil Fuels 40 Construction Minerals 20 Biomass Source: Krausmann and others 2009 0 1992 1997 2002 2005The global use of natural resource materials increased by over 40% between 1992 and 2005, from about 42 to nearly60 thousand million tonnes. On a per capita basis, the increase was 27%. Among the four major material groups (biomass,fossil fuels, ores and industrial minerals, and construction minerals) there has been a major increase in extraction ofconstruction minerals of almost 80%, followed by ores and industrial minerals (close to 60%). This growth is strongly linkedto increasing population numbers and the need for shelter, food and an improved standard of living (UNEP 2011).International trade in resource materials has also increased. “The total value of world trade in natural resources wasUS$ 3 700 thousand millions in 2008, or nearly 24 Per Cent of world merchandise trade. This value has increased morethan six-fold between 1998 and 2008” (WTO 2011). 16
  26. 26. More energy and natural resources are being consumed, but the amounts needed per product are declining Resource EfficiencyIndex, 1992=100 180 Economic Development (GDP) 160 140 Resource Extraction Population 120 100 Material Intensity Source: SERI 80 1992 1997 2002 2007Although overall energy and material use continue to grow, there is a simultaneous general decline in emissions, energy andmaterial use per unit of output (UNEP 2011, Krausmann and others 2009), indicating that we are becoming more efficientat how we produce, use and dispose of materials. “Resource extraction per capita has been stable or increasing onlyslightly. What economies worldwide need is absolute decoupling of the environmental pressure associated with resourceconsumption from economic growth. This will be easier to achieve to the extent that resource use itself becomes moreefficient” (UNEP 2011). One policy option concerns eco-taxes, which put a price on the full costs of resource extraction andpollution, including emitting CO2, polluting the environment through the use of chemicals, deforestation, overpumping ofaquifers and overfishing; such incentives can stimulate employment and help in the transition to absolute decoupling andGreen Economy (ILO 2009, UNEP 2011b). 17
  27. 27. Environmental Trends 18
  28. 28. 19
  29. 29. Atmosphere MorgueFile 20
  30. 30. Global CO2 emissions continue to rise, with 80% emitted by only 19 countries Emissions of CO2* Global Globally, CO2 emissions increased by 36%Thousand Million Tonnes of CO2 - Total - +36% since 1992 2010 between 1992 and 2008, from around 30 22 000 million to just over 30 000 million Developed tonnes. With general economic growth, +8% plus developing countries such as Brazil, since 1992 China and India investing significantly 20 in large development, infrastructural and manufacturing projects, the growth of CO2 emissions in developing countries over the 10 Developing last few years climbed even more (between +64% 1992 and 2008, a 64% increase of total CO2 since 1992 emissions and 29% on a per capita basis). Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from CDIAC Latest estimates show that global CO2 0 1992 1997 2002 2008 emissions accumulated to 30 600 million tonnes in 2010 (IEA 2011). Large differences exist between regions and countries, with 80% of the global CO2 emissions being generated by 19 countries—mainly those Emissions of CO2* with high levels of economic development Tonnes - per Capita - and/or large populations. 50 Total emissions of CO2 in developed countries increased by nearly 8%, and 40 although per capita emissions declined Developed steadily by 18%, they are still 10 times -18% 30 since 1992 higher than those of developing countries. In addition, many developed countries 20 profited from a significant shift of production to developing countries, thus leading Global to declining domestic emissions, but +7% nevertheless increasing consumption-based 10 since 1992 Developing emissions (Peters and others 2011). 29% Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from CDIAC, UNPD 0 + 1992 1997 2002 2008 since 1992 * from fossil fuels, gas flaring, cement production, as provided through the original source 21
  31. 31. Despite global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, they continue to rise due to the increasing use of fossil fuels... The main uses of fossil fuels Emissions of CO2* are for generating electricity, - Total, by Type -Thousand Million Tonnes of CO2 enabling transport and producing 30 Gas Flaring Cement Production heat. Their combustion leads to a release of CO2 into the 25 Gas Fuels Consumption atmosphere which in turn influences the earth’s climate. 20 The production of cement not Liquid Fuels Consumption (e.g. fuel oil) only demands very high levels of 15 energy inputs, but also releases CO2 directly through the heating 10 of calcium carbonate, which 5 Solid Fuels Consumption produces lime and carbon (e.g. coal) Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from CDIAC dioxide. It has also become the 0 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank, CDIAC fastest growing source of CO2 1992 1997 2002 2007 2008 emissions (+230% since 1992). Global efforts since 1992 to slow the growth of, and ultimately Emissions of CO2* reduce the total level of CO2Index, 1992=100 - Change, by Type - emissions, have not yet fully 250 succeeded. Those efforts must be strengthened; otherwise, it is very Cement Production 225 unlikely that the target of limiting Gas Flaring temperature increase to 2°C by 200 2100 to reduce global warming, as agreed by global leaders in 175 Cancun in 2010, will be met (IEA 2011). 150 Solid Fuels Consumption Gas Fuels Consumption * from fossil fuels, gas flaring, cement 125 production, as provided through the original source Liquid Fuels Consumption 100 1992 1997 2002 2007 2008 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from CDIAC 22
  32. 32. ...however, production processes are becoming more energy-efficient Grams of CO2 per Emissions of CO2 per GDP $ 1 GDP 700 600 500 -23% since 1992 400 Source: UNEP GEO Data Portal, as compiled from World Bank CDIAC 300 1992 1997 2002 2007 2008Increasing efforts to “decouple” emissions and economic development are being witnessed, meaning reduction of emissionswhile still experiencing economic growth. Applying new technologies to use energy and resources more efficiently is anexample of a means to accomplish decoupling.The graph above shows an annual efficiency gain of around 1.6%, and a total gain of 23% since 1992 (until 2007),indicating the start of a successful decoupling of emissions for each dollar of GDP generated. However, this may be partiallyinfluenced by the increasing value of the service industry, which has less energy- (and thus emission-) intensive impacts. Inany case, the efficiency gains are still outweighed by the ongoing absolute increase in global emissions. 23

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