UN Report Current Affairs - 2020

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UN Report: India to grow at 7.1% in 2020

According to a United Nations’ report titled World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) Report 2019 Mid-year Update, India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.1 % in fiscal year 2020 which will be backed by strong domestic consumption and investment.

Key Findings of Report

  • Global Growth: For both developed and developing countries, 2019 growth projections have been downgraded. The growth outlook for many developing economies was also weakened. After an expansion of 3% in 2018, world gross product growth is now projected to settle to 2.7 % in 2019 and 2.9 % in 2020.
  • India’s Growth: Despite a downward revision growth in Indian economy remains strong amid robust domestic demand. India is projected to grow at 7% in fiscal year 2019 and 7.1% in fiscal year 2020.
  • Risk Projections: As per WESP report, certain risks that could trigger a prolonged slowdown in the world economy’s growth include an escalation in trade disputes, a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, and accelerating effects of climate change.
  • The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters globally highlight the rising threats faced from climate change, particularly by most vulnerable economies.
  • Recommendations: To tackle current growth slowdown it would require a combination of monetary, fiscal and development-oriented measures. Also, there is an immediate need of more coordinated multilateral approach to global climate policy, which includes use of carbon pricing mechanisms.

About WESP Report

It is a joint product of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five United Nations regional commissions.

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1 million species risk extinction due to humans: Draft UN report

According to draft of UN report set to be released on May 6, 2019, up to One million world species are at risk of extinction due to human activity.  It highlights how humanity has undermined natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

This 44-page draft report which has summarized 1,800-page assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature conducted by the UN  will be examined  on 29 April, 2019 by 130 nations that will meet in Paris, France.

Key Findings of Report

  • Extinction: It warns of forthcoming rapid acceleration in global rate of species extinction. With upto 1 million species at extinction risk, and one fourth of known plant and animal species already threatened, loss of species is tens to hundreds of times higher than it was, on average, over last 10 million years.
  • Causes: Direct cause of species loss are continuously shrinking habitat and land-use change, hunting for food, illegal trade in wildlife body parts, climate change and pollution.
  • Impact on Ecosystem: Almost three-fourth of land, half of marine environments and half of inland waterways have been ‘severely’ changed by human activity.
  • This is mainly due to human activities, like overconsumption, illegal poaching, deforestation and fossil fuel emissions, which further push ecosystems toward a point of no return.
  • Impact of Humans: Such depletion will harm humans, especially indigenous vulnerable groups and those living in poorest communities.
  • Threat equivalent to climate change: The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves are a few of diminishing services offered by Nature, which poses threat not less than that by climate change.
  • Dependence on Nature: More than 2 billion people rely on wood fuel for energy, 4 billion rely on natural medicines, and 75% of global food crops require animal pollination.
  • It cautions against climate change solutions that may accidentally harm nature. Example-Biofuels use combined with “carbon capture and storage” (i.e. sequestration of CO2 released when biofuels are burned) is a key in transition to green energy on a global scale. But land needed for growing biofuel crops may lead to cutting into food production, expansion of protected areas or reforestation efforts.

Way Forward

We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for environment, but also for development and economic issues. Unsustainable methods used for our food and energy production undermines regulating services we get from Nature, therefore only “transformative change” can stem the damage.

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