Maintaining a healthy planet and prosperity for all requires a renewed focus on reducing environmental impact, sustainability and changing the way the current economic system works,
The UN set the overall framework for future efforts to tackle environmental issues, stressing that climate change, pollution, energy, security and global equity are all interconnected.
The stake is that of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which call for global economic development to go hand in hand with environmental protection and the fight against climate change.
At the Stockholm +50 conference, convened earlier in June by the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN called on governments and businesses around the world to accelerate the implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in order to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
“This is the decade where things have to change: we have to bend the curves of emission, loss of biodiversity and any unsustainable load of all materials caused by overproduction and consumption,” Johan Rockstrom, professor of science at environment at the Stockholm Resilience Center, told the conference.
Stockholm +50 called for placing human well-being at the center of a healthy planet and prosperity for all, and recognizing the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The demands come as climate change, the current energy crisis, high temperatures and pressures on food supplies threaten to create an environmental and food crisis that could lead to bread riots, mass migration and agricultural disaster.
Sweden’s Climate and Environment Minister Annika Strandhäll told the conference the need to rethink and redefine how to measure economic growth and success, align MEAs, increase funding, work towards political recognition of the right to a clean and healthy environment, and restore confidence in the multilateral system.
She added that work must continue at the national level as national implementation is key, and expressed optimism for a decision on a global biodiversity framework, a convention on plastic pollution and progress on climate commitments. .
The conference was convened by UNEP 50 years after the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.
The conference offered 10 key recommendations for governments and global policymakers.
The first was recognized that a healthy planet is a prerequisite for peace, cohesion and prosperous societies.
In other words, climate change now has an impact on all areas of global politics and economics, which means that governments and businesses cannot ignore climate change and must consider ecological issues in their decision making.
The conference calls for a strengthening of national implementation of existing commitments for a healthy planet, while aligning public and private financial flows with environmental, climate and sustainable development commitments.
Delegates also called for an acceleration of system-wide transformations of high-impact sectors, such as food, energy, water, buildings and construction, manufacturing and mobility. In other words, these are the key areas that need to become greener and more sustainable in order to combat climate change.
To achieve this, the world must strengthen and revitalize the multilateral system, rebuild relationships of trust for enhanced cooperation and solidarity.
Finally, the world must recognize intergenerational responsibility as the cornerstone of sound policy-making, suggesting that tackling climate change is a decades-long task and will be taken on by generations who have yet to see the day.
The conference also underlined that future global efforts would focus on the well-being of the economy and all that this implies for a polycentric approach to future delivery, rather than the previous focus on institutions and treaties. .