Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Economic growth has 'devastating cost to nature', review finds - CNA

Humanity's unbridled growth in recent decades has come at a "devastating cost to nature" according a wide-ranging international review on the vital economic role played by our living planet.


The 600-page rundown of scientific material commissioned by the British government highlighted the precarious state of global biodiversity and warned that nothing short of a sea change in how countries power economic growth could prevent catastrophic impacts for nature, and humanity.

The Dasgupta Review - a two-year collaboration of hundreds of academics from around the world overseen by Partha Dasgupta, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Cambridge - said that all livelihoods depended on the health of the planet.

It showed that while global capital produced per person had doubled in the three decades since 1992, the stock of natural capital - that is, the quantifiable benefit an individual derives from services bestowed by nature - had plunged 40 per cent.

"While humanity has prospered immensely in recent decades, the ways in which we have achieved such prosperity means that it has come at a devastating cost to nature," the review said.

It called for a fundamental redressing of humanity's demands and nature's supply, warning that biodiversity is intricately linked with human wellbeing and health.

Some species are going extinct up to 1,000 times faster than the historical average, "undermining nature's productivity, resilience and adaptability", the review said.

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