Subsidising Our Own Extinction
The Human Civilisation has become desperate for self-destruction and extinction, instead of survival. The International Community has increased the expenditure in order to bring Doomsday closer. Millions of dollars have already been spent to destroy the wildlife, plants, nature, and environment. At the same time, the thick cover of ice at the two poles are melting fast due to rapid Global Warming, triggering a rise at sea levels. In a nutshell, the civilisation is rapidly advancing towards the Sixth Mass Extinction!
In a report, titled Protecting Nature by Reforming Environmentally Harmful Subsidies: The Role of Business; the UN has mentioned that the world is spending USD 1.8 trillion per year in subsidies, funding the destruction of nature. The amount, which is at least 2% of the total global GDP, is being spent on projects that could indiscriminately extinct the wildlife, nature and environment. Ahead of March 13-29 (2022) Biodiversity Conference in Geneva, Business for Nature, a global coalition bringing together influential organisations and forward-thinking businesses, has expressed serious concern over the terrible destruction of the overall ecosystem in the report. Such a report has been prepared in a rare first in the last decade and a half.
The report has given a full account of the average annual allocation for various projects, which are extremely harmful to the environment and the ecosystem, worldwide. As per the report, Governments have increased budget allocation for industrial and agricultural projects, which are extremely harmful to the environment and ecosystem. Fossil fuels, agriculture and aqua-based industries received 80% of the total allocation annually in recent times.
The fossil fuel industry has been singled out as the biggest recipient of environmentally harmful subsidies, at USD 630 billion, followed by the agriculture industry, which receives USD 520 billion. Water, forestry and construction come next, at USD 350 billion, USD 155 billion and USD 90 billion, respectively. Unfortunately, these projects have increased incidents of air and water pollution, land erosion and landslides. Uncontrolled and unscientific farming to increase the volume of production has also triggered land erosion, as well as water pollution, in different parts of the globe. Forests are also being destroyed indiscriminately. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions, too, has increased, with many species of animals and plants becoming extinct. These human activities are badly damaging the global ecosystem. Around 90% of the world’s subsidies, given to the agriculture sector each year, are extremely harmful to the environment and the overall ecosystem, claimed the researchers.
As mentioned earlier, the water-based projects receive an allocation of USD 350 billion annually. They include agro-based industries and waste-water conversion projects. However, Governments are wasting a huge amount of money to produce filtered water; as water-purification projects are not only polluting oceans, rivers and lakes, but also disturbing the balance of the aquatic ecosystem. Afforestation is another activity that is receiving huge funds, but this project is also detrimental to the environment, as well as the ecosystem.
Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and B Team leader, has warned that harmful subsidies are creating huge risks for the businesses that receive them. “Nature is declining at an alarming rate, and we have never lived on a planet with so little biodiversity,” she said. Figueres stressed: “Harmful subsidies must be redirected towards protecting the climate and nature, rather than financing our own extinction.” For her part, Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CVD), said that the report was “critically important“, adding: “Transformative action on incentives and subsidies harmful for biodiversity will be decisive this decade to bend the curve of biodiversity loss.” She insisted: “I strongly believe this timely report will help generate the requisite political momentum and contribute to the global biodiversity framework.“
Meanwhile, the Report has proposed to redirect this funding through subsidies over the next three decades. It has further stressed on subsidy reform, stating that the Government should consider both social and environmental impacts in order to avoid negatively impacting the poorest households and most vulnerable communities around the world. Various countries have also been urged to spend USD 500 billion in order to protect the world from the Sixth Mass Extinction.
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