On World Environment Day, The Future Is Clear: It’s Time #ForNature and #TheGreatReset

Today is World Environment Day. As you read this, it is clear that globally we are at a crossroads and that the inequities we see at home are also reflected across the broader planet.  The pandemic has instigated a moment to re-examine our relationship with nature and the planet’s resources. Increasingly, world leaders (even conservatives) see this as a time to push the “reset” button to create societies that put conservation and the natural world as essential to our rebuilding after the pandemic and to mitigate and prepare for climate changes that are ahead.  Globally there is a growing alignment around #TheGreatReset, as these major global institutions — the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the world’s largest banks and investors, and the most prosperous and stable nations — move forward.

Why This Matters:  Most of the world is moving ahead on this reset — they see conserving nature and economic development as consistent. Indeed, the annual global Environmental Performance Index published by Yale shows that governments and policies make a big difference. Denmark is #1 again this year because of a bold climate agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.  The U.S. is #24 and falling — already behind most western nations, the authors of the report point out.  

The UN and the World Economic Forum Lifting Up

The government of Columbia took the lead in organizing the UN’s events and they have live programming all day.  Their goal is to amass a chorus of voices from around the world in a call to action starting now:  “This World Environment Day, it’s time for nature” and promoting it under the hashtag #ForNature.   The World Economic Forum also held a panel discussion earlier this week in which they rolled out their initiative called #TheGreatReset, which will culminate in a virtual and in-person summit in January connecting key global governmental and business leaders in Davos with a global multistakeholder network in 400 cities around the world for a forward-oriented dialogue driven by the younger generation.  These are their principles:

  • “‘The Great Reset’ is a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future.
  • It requires a new social contract centred on human dignity, social justice and where societal progress does not fall behind economic development.
  • The global health crisis has laid bare longstanding ruptures in our economies and societies, and created a social crisis that urgently requires decent, meaningful jobs.”

The Global Environmental Performance Index

The authors found four “striking” conclusions after studying the data used to create the 2020 EPI rankings.

  • First, good policy results are associated with wealth (GDP per capita), meaning that economic prosperity makes it possible for nations to invest in policies and programs that lead to desirable outcomes.”
  • Second, the pursuit of economic prosperity – manifested in industrialization and urbanization – often means more pollution and other strains on ecosystem vitality, especially in the developing world, where air and water emissions remain significant. But at the same time, the data suggest countries need not sacrifice sustainability for economic security or vice versa.”
  • Third, while top EPI performers pay attention to all areas of sustainability, their lagging peers tend to have uneven performance. Denmark, which ranks #1, has strong results across most issues and with leading-edge commitments and outcomes with regard to climate change mitigation. In general, high scorers exhibit long-standing policies and programs to protect public health, preserve natural resources, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • Fourth, laggards must redouble national sustainability efforts along all fronts.

For More Inspiration: Watch the version of #TheGreatReset video from the Prince of Wales.

Up Next

US and Japan Help Finance Foreign Coal Projects

US and Japan Help Finance Foreign Coal Projects

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer China is often criticized for funding fossil fuel power infrastructure beyond its borders, and rightly so: it’s the top financier of overseas power plants, especially coal-fired ones. But they’re not the only ones continuing to finance coal and gas projects overseas. The US and Japan are a close second […]

Continue Reading 371 words

Yellen To Assess Risk Posed By Climate Change to US Financial System

  This past May, President Biden signed an executive order on climate-related financial risk, a cross-governmental plan that directs federal agencies to identify and mitigate financial risks presented by climate change to Americans, businesses, and the government itself. Progress on this order was made over the weekend when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the Financial Stability […]

Continue Reading 292 words
Major Investors Sign Climate Demand Letter of G7 Leaders on Eve of Summit

Major Investors Sign Climate Demand Letter of G7 Leaders on Eve of Summit

Large institutions investors representing more than $41 trillion in assets sent a strongly worded letter pressing the G7 governments to “set more ambitious emission reduction targets, detail “clear” road maps to decarbonize pollution-heavy industries and implement mandatory climate risk disclosure requirements,” CNN reported.

Why This Matters: Money talks.  Investors are increasingly willing to walk away from deals like oil and gas drilling projects in the Arctic or investments in fossil fuel companies that refuse to change their business models.

Continue Reading 492 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.