• FutureTrack

This Week in Sustainability News 08.03

This past week was filled with interesting sustainability and climate news, we’ve summarised the top stories below.


Report shows disastrous climate change impacts and dwindling time to avoid them

The IPCC’s latest report was released last week. It identifies climate change impacts, causes, and solutions. Below is a summary of some of the key points.

  • Climate change impacts are worse than expected, making 40% of the world’s population “highly vulnerable” to them already.

  • These impacts will continue to disproportionately affect poor and disadvantaged peoples.

  • Under a high-emissions scenario we could see over 250,000 climate change related deaths each year.

  • At 2C of warming, 3 billion people could experience water scarcity due to droughts.

  • Technology will not solve the problem, in fact, some carbon capture technologies may even have negative impacts.

  • There is still time to avert some of the worst climate impacts, but it is running out fast: “any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”

Read more…


Regulatory crackdown on misleading advertising

  • Around 50 complaints are pending worldwide as consumers are becoming savvy to instances of greenwashed and misleading environmental advertisements by companies.

  • Considering this, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will release new guidance to crack down on socially irresponsible advertisements that mislead the public about the environment.

  • They will also launch enquiries into claims by companies in priority areas including aviation, heating/energy, cars, waste, and animal-based food, and will review carbon neutral and net-zero pledges made in adverts.

Read more…


UN agrees to form treaty to end plastic pollution

  • At the UN environment assembly, held last week in Kenya, representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed to develop a treaty to tackle plastic pollution.

  • The treaty will be legally-binding and will address the full plastic lifecycle from design to disposal.

  • The agreement to develop the treaty has been described as “the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord” and a “triumph by planet earth over single-use plastics”.

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Amazon rainforest facing a tipping point

  • Satellite images from recent decades show that over 75% of the Amazon rainforest is losing resilience, meaning it takes longer to bounce back after a disturbance.

  • The widespread lack of resilience suggests that the rainforest is nearing a tipping point, where it would be susceptible to “sudden and irreversible dieback”.

  • Within a few decades, this could result in more than half of the forest becoming a sparce savanna.

  • Losing the Amazon rainforest could be catastrophic for our planet, as it serves as one of Earth’s most important carbon sinks.

  • The resulting carbon released from a mass dieback of the forest’s vegetation would put the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C goal out of reach.

Read more…