Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Global Environmental Outlook Report 2019


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspectives, the following things are important

Prelims Level: GEO Report

Mains Level: Read the attached story 


  • Human activities are degrading the global environment at a pace that could endanger the “ecological foundations of society” and human health, according to a landmark United Nations report.

Global Environment Outlook (GEO) 2019

  1. The GEO is often referred to as UN Environment’s flagship environmental assessment.
  2. The first publication was in 1997 and was originally requested by Member States.
  3. It is a flagship report because it fulfills the core functions of the organization, which date back to the UN General Assembly resolution that established the UNEP in 1972.
  4. The report is the sixth and is the UN’s most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012.
  5. It is a consultative and participatory process to:
  • prepare an independent assessment of the state of the environment,
  • effectiveness of the policy response to address these environmental challenges and
  • possible pathways to be achieve various internationally agreed environmental goals.

Highlights of the report

Child Mortality

  • Air pollution remains a major public health problem as the main environmental contributor to disease around the globe.
  • It results in 6 million to 7 million premature deaths and losses of $5 trillion each year.

Species Extinction

  • Species extinction rates also continue to increase at a pace that could compromise Earth’s ability to meet human needs, the report says.
  • Among invertebrates, 42% of land dwellers, 34% of freshwater species and 25% of marine species are at risk of extinction.

Health emergencies

  • The GEO compiles a litany of pollution-related health emergencies.
  • It said that poor environmental conditions “cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality” — around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.

Food Waste

  • Thirty-three percent of edible food is wasted worldwide, with more than half thrown out in industrialized nations, the report says.
  • Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed.
  • The report depicts a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
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