Three Planets-worth of Natural Resources, Needed to Maintain Our Ways of Living


Human Wrongs Watch

This year’s World Environment Day’s theme, ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care’, to b e celebrated on 5 June,  encourages people to rethink their lifestyles and, through conscious consumer decisions, decrease humanity’s collective impact on nature’s resources.*

Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

According to UNEP’s International Resource Panel (IRP), if unsustainable consumption and production patterns persist, by 2050 we will be using three planets- worth of natural resources to maintain our ways of living.

This means that it will take three years for the Earth to regenerate the resources we use in one year.

By 2050, humanity could be devouring about 140 billion tonnes of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass per year – three times its current appetite – unless economic growth rate is decoupled from the rate of natural resource use.

The global host for WED celebrations this year is Italy, a country at the forefront of the worldwide action towards improved global nutrition and resource use.

The main celebrations will take place at Expo Milano – this year’s edition of the world-famous universal exhibition.

Running from 1 May to 31 October, Expo Milano will feature more than 140 exhibiting countries and numerous international organizations, including a pavilion of the United Nations. The exhibition is expected to attract over 20 million visitors.

The Milan Expo supports and complements WED with its theme of ‘Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life’, which showcases state-of-the-art technology, ideas and solutions that can help guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium.

On 4 June, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Football star and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Yaya Touré will host the official WED press conference at the Milano Expo Media Centre, where the issue of sustainable consumption and production will be spotlighted and a new Handbook will be launched that outlines best practices and principles for policy makers.

The Milan Expo will witness an array of exciting WED related events, including a forum of the ministers of agriculture from countries participating in Expo themed “Agriculture To Feed The World”, cooking classes by celebrity chefs using leftover food, the unveiling of the Cineambiente Mini Film Festival and the Earth Evening – an unplugged concert for piano and vocal to celebrate the WED with zero emissions music. (*Source: UNEP)

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

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