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Green Templeton College | Oxford

EMS

A group of experts convened by Green Templeton College’s Emerging Markets Symposium (EMS) published a report today warning political and business leaders of irreversible environmental destruction and disastrous economic and health consequences of unregulated economic ambition.

The report’s publication coincides with the beginning of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Its authors, including leading economists, scientists, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs, encourage world leaders to reverse the idea that environmental initiatives hamper economic growth. It also notes that many global environmental threats pose severe danger to human health, especially in emerging markets. Jeffrey D Sachs, Professor at Columbia University and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, warns:

‘A quarter of all deaths worldwide are currently directly or indirectly attributed to environmental ill health. We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand. Increasing air and water pollution, the spread of new diseases, and drug-resistant infections are already crippling our health and social systems. Urgent and radical action is needed, including investing significantly in preventing environmental health challenges, changing the way we grow and produce food, and, of course, switching to renewable energy sources.’

Professor Rainer Sauerborn, Director of the Institute of Public Health at the University of Heidelberg, adds, ‘We have to stop worrying about the costs of reducing environmental pollution and start being concerned about the immeasurably higher human and financial costs of not doing what is needed.’

The EMS report recommends a number of courses for future action, calling on global, national, and local leaders, as well as businesses, the media, and society at large to work on tackling these issues.

You can read the report here.

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