Making Peace with Nature
UNEP Synthesis Report
The United Nations Environment Programme's first Synthesis Report, Making Peace with Nature, is a scientific blueprint for how climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution can be tackled jointly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. It represents a synthesis of the many recent intergovernmental global environmental assessments and assessments prepared under the auspices of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, UN bodies and others.
Among other conclusions, it states: "Only a system-wide transformation will achieve well-being for all within the Earth’s capacity to support life, provide resources and absorb waste. This transformation will involve a fundamental change in the technological, economic and social organization of society, including world views, norms, values and governance."
Its top five key messages are:
• Environmental changes are undermining hard-won development gains by causing economic costs and millions of premature deaths annually. They are impeding progress towards ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable economic growth, work for all and peaceful and inclusive societies.
• The well-being of today‘s youth and future generations depends on an urgent and clear break with current trends of environmental decline. The coming decade is crucial. Society needs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 °C as aspired to in the Paris Agreement, while at the same time conserving and restoring biodiversity and minimizing pollution and waste.
• Earth’s environmental emergencies and human well-being need to be addressed together to achieve sustainability. The development of the goals, targets, commitments and mechanisms under the key environmental conventions and their implementation need to be aligned to become more synergistic and effective.
• The economic, financial and productive systems can and should be transformed to lead and power the shift to sustainability. Society needs to include natural capital in decision-making, eliminate envi- ronmentally harmful subsidies and invest in the transition to a sustainable future.
• Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that human knowledge, ingenuity, technology and coopera- tion are redeployed from transforming nature to transforming humankind‘s relationship with nature. Polycentric governance is key to empowering people to express themselves and act environmentally responsibly without undue difficulty or self-sacrifice.
Source: United Nations Environment Programme (2021). Making Peace with Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies. UNEP: Nairobi. https://www.unep.org/resources/making-peace-nature
Last updated 23 August 2021