acid rain Destroying forests.birds die DDT poisoning
Countries are struggling with oil spills, pollution from nuclear weapons tests and The environmental impact of the Vietnam War
. Air pollution is crossing borders and harming neighboring countries.
At Sweden’s urging, the UN convened representatives from countries around the world to find a solution. That summit — United Nations Conference on the Human EnvironmentHeld 50 years ago in Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972 – marking the first global effort to view the environment as a global policy issue and to identify core principles for its management.
The Stockholm Conference was a turning point in how countries viewed the natural world and a resource, such as air, shared by all nations.
it led to United Nations Environment Programme Monitor environmental conditions and coordinate responses to major environmental issues. It also raises questions that have so far challenged international negotiations, such as who is responsible for cleaning up environmental damage and how much poorer countries are expected to do.
On this 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference, let’s take a look at where half a century of environmental diplomacy has led, and the problems that will emerge in the coming decades.
Stockholm Conference, 1972
From a diplomatic point of view, the Stockholm Conference was a major achievement.
It pushes the boundaries of the UN system, which relies on the concept of national sovereignty, and underscores the importance of joint action for the common good.The meeting brought together representatives from 113 countries as well as UN agencies, and Created a tradition that includes non-state actors, such as environmental advocacy groups.it produces a declaration These include principles to guide global environmental management going forward.
The declaration explicitly recognizes the “sovereign right of states to develop their own resources in accordance with their own environmental policies, as well as their responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or areas beyond their limits”. State jurisdiction. ” One action plan Strengthen the role of the United Nations in protecting the environment and establish UNEP as a global authority on the environment.
The Stockholm conference also put global inequality in the spotlight.Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi questioned The urgency of prioritizing environmental protection when so many people live in poverty. Other developing countries share India’s concerns: Will this new environmental movement prevent the poor from using the environment and exacerbate their poverty? Will rich countries that cause environmental damage provide financial and technical assistance?
Earth Summit, 1992
Twenty years later, 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development — The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro — provides the answer.it hugs sustainable development – Developments that meet contemporary needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This has paved the way for political consensus in a number of ways.
first, climate change Make it clear that human activity can permanently change the planet, so the stakes are high for everyone. It is imperative to forge a new global partnership that mobilizes nations, key sectors of society and people to protect and restore the health of Earth’s ecosystems.
Second, economic development, environmental protection and social development seen as interdependent.
Finally, while all countries are expected to pursue sustainable development, it is recognized that developed countries have a greater capacity to do so, and their societies more pressure on the environment.
The Earth Summit produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, setting the stage for global climate negotiations that continue today; this Convention on Biological Diversity; not binding Forest Principles; and an overall action Plan to transition to sustainability.
Progress made, but major challenges ahead
Growing awareness of environmental challenges over the past 50 years has led to National Environmental Agency and Development of Global Environmental Law.
the world has pull together stop Destruction of the ozone layer, Phase out leaded gasoline and curb pollutants Burning fossil fuels that produce acid rain. In 2015, UN member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals Has measurable goals and signed off Paris climate agreement. Countries commit to a treaty by 2022 reduce plastic pollution. Climate change and sustainable resource use have also become higher priorities for foreign policy-making, international organizations and corporate boards.
But while environmental diplomacy shows that progress is possible, the world still faces enormous challenges.
Greenhouse gas concentrations are still increasing, and rising temperatures are fueling devastating wildfires, heat waves and other disasters.Over one million plant and animal species endangered, could lead to the worst loss of life on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs.The air that 99% of the world’s population breathes Exceeds World Health Organization guidelines for pollutants.
The next 50 years: trends to watch
As environmental diplomacy enters the next 50 years, climate change, biodiversity and impacts on human health are on the agenda. Here are some new trends to watch.
The idea of a circular economy is gaining interest.billions of tons of material are produced, consumed and discarded every year, while Recycle or reuse only a small portion. processing Working towards a more circular economywhich eliminates waste and preserves the use of materials that can help mitigate climate change and restore natural systems.
Advocate natural rights and animal rights increasingly prominent in environmental diplomacy.
Outer space is another theme as it increasingly becomes the domain of human exploration and settlement ambitions private space travel. cosmic trash is accumulating and threatening Earth’s orbital space, and Mars exploration New questions about protecting space ecosystems are raised.
The 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference is an important opportunity to think about future development rights and responsibilities while using environmental diplomacy today to protect and regenerate the planet.
This article is reproduced from conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing the views of academic experts. Its authors are: mihaela dad, Tufts University.
Mihaela Papa has no disclosures other than academic appointments.