Opposing environmentally destructive forces

Preventing environmental degradation
Combatting degradation of the environment
Initiating campaigns against environmental degradation
Addressing the root causes of environmental degradation
Means must be found to tackle the root causes of environmental problems, many of which are unaffected by strictly environmental policies. Resource consumption, for example, is a key driver of environmental degradation. Policy measures to attack this issue must reduce population growth, reorient consumption patterns, increase resource use efficiency and make structural changes to the economy. Ideally, such measures must simultaneously maintain the living standards of the wealthy, upgrade the living standards of the disadvantaged, and increase sustainability. Inevitably, this will require a shift in values away from material consumption. Without such a shift, environmental policies can effect only marginal improvements.
The recognition of the global nature of environmental challenges in Stockholm, in 1972, and the coupling of environmental issues to those of development in Rio de Janeiro twenty years later, has led to significant progress to reverse environmental degradation. However, the facts and figures of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook 2000 state clearly that the challenges of sustainability still overwhelm the adequacy of our responses.
Some policy measures are better than others in dealing with root causes. Taxing resource use rather than employment is one possible measure introduced with success in some countries of the European Union. Reforming subsidies for resource-intensive, polluting sectors is another. Use of the best available technology and production processes - incorporating the principles of cleaner production and eco-efficiency - could reduce environmental pressures by a factor of two to five.
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions