The world population is now over 8 billion, when 200 years ago it was just 1 billion. Almost all of the population growth over the next 50 years is projected in the world’s poorest regions. This will inevitably lead to unprecedented social and environmental strains, and to an enormous increase in global migration.
The guiding principle of sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present – without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In a world with almost one billion people hungry – where every five seconds a child dies from hunger-related causes – we are obviously not even meeting the needs of the present.
If left unabated, carbon emissions are projected to more than double by 2050, causing an acceleration in climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. Such conditions result in frequent severe weather, floods, disease and habitat destruction, adversely affecting economic growth, agricultural production, mortality and poverty – all of which will have devastating impacts on society, and indeed security.
The sobering realization that economic development will die with the environment is fostering a growing consensus on the need for replacing unsustainable ways of the past with responsible practices for the future. Sustainability principles have moved from the fringes to the core of business strategies for achieving growth and lasting competitiveness. Corporate social responsibility values and triple bottom line criteria are increasingly becoming integral factors of corporate management.
Solutions are available right now to drastically reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere:
Environmental technology is not a vertical marketplace – environmental protection challenges technology. Environmental engineering is truly interdisciplinary, ranging from chemistry and biology through physics to economics. In the traditional definition, it comprises water & wastewater treatment, air & noise pollution control, solid waste management and soil remediation. Green Pages also covers renewable energy & energy efficient technologies, as well as processes to develop and implement clean industrial production and sustainable agriculture. It aims to increase awareness about available solutions across specialist disciplines. Air pollution, for example, cannot be addressed without looking at patterns of urban growth, energy, and transportation alternatives.