TIME FOR WORLD TO QUIT SCREWING AROUND -- REPORT
Environmental crunch 'worse than thought': OECD
March 16, 2012 (AFP)
"Pressures on Earth's ecosystem are now so great that future generations could be doomed to falling living standards…[said a report] by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)…[that looked to 2050]…Pollution should be made more expensive, such as by scrapping environmentally-damaging subsidies for fossil fuels, [the report] said…And natural assets should carry a monetary value that is factored into pricing, so that their true worth is appreciated..."
[The OECD report:] "Providing for a further two billion people by 2050 and improving the living standards for all will challenge our ability to manage and restore those natural assets on which all life depends…Failure to do so will have serious consequences, especially for the poor, and ultimately undermine the growth and human development of future generations…The prospects are…[for] irreversible changes that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards… Progress on an incremental, piecemeal, business-as-usual basis in the coming decades will not be enough…"
click to enlarge
"…[On climate change:] Carbon emissions from energy use are likely to rise by 70 percent by 2050, ‘locking in’ more disruptive climate change…[T]he world's average temperature will be 3-6 degrees Celsius (5.4-10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than in pre-industrial times, compared with the UN's target of 2 C (3.6 F)…[On biodiversity:] …[D]iversity of land species is expected to fall by 10 percent by 2050 compared with today. Already about a third of freshwater species diversity has been lost…The aggregate loss of biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits associated with the global loss of forests…[could] be between $2 trillion and $5 trillion per year…
"…[On health:] No country will be spared worsening problems of air pollution…Levels in some cities, particularly in Asia, already far exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) safety limits…[R]ich countries, too, will be hit. Ground-level ozone -- a respiratory irritant caused by the reaction of traffic fumes with sunlight -- will be a danger to their ageing, highly urbanised populations…"