The scoop: The world uses a lot of materials to produce a lot of waste.
By the numbers:
- Asia accounts for 60% of mineral extraction and 67% of freshwater use.
- The world disperses 28.7 billion tons of fossil fuels and biomass energy.
- Europe, Asia and N. America account for 78% of fossil fuel output.
- It takes <resources to produce >materials.
- A lot of freshwater, an increasingly scarce resource, turns into wastewater every year.
- Most raw materials and natural resources end up in the land, air or water.
Bottom line: The current production process outweighs Earth's production capacity. To solve that, we need to maximize the life-cycle of products, treat natural resources carefully, and minimize waste.
Dig deeper → <1 min.
The scoop: China made an announcement to the UN with plans to go carbon neutral by 2060.
What to know:
- China is the number one carbon emitter in the world, with more carbon emissions thn the US and Europe combined.
- China is still investing heavily in coal-powered plants through 2020, de-legitimizing the carbon pledge.
- The UN took the pledge very seriously, indicating its unwillingness to criticize Chinese climate policy.
Bottom line: China’s carbon pledge is smoke and mirrors. The announcement comes weeks before a major US election when voters are antsy. The United Nations needs to focus on human rights efforts, not tweeting celebration emojis for empty words.
Dig deeper → 3 min