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World's top companies urge action on nature loss ahead of U.N. talks


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World's top companies urge action on nature loss ahead of U.N. talks

By Simon Jessop

 

2020-09-20T221543Z_1_LYNXNPEG8J0OT_RTROPTP_4_USA-WILDFIRES-OREGON.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Trees are ablaze from the Brattain Fire in the Fremont National Forest near Paisley, Oregon, U.S., September 19, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Some of the world's biggest companies on Monday backed growing calls for governments to do more to reverse the accelerating destruction of the natural world and support broader efforts to fight climate change.

 

More than 560 companies with combined revenues of $4 trillion including Walmart <WMT.N>, Citigroup <C.N> and Microsoft <MSFT.O> signed up to a statement calling for action over the next decade.

 

The call comes as the United Nations prepares to host a biodiversity summit later this month, aiming to build momentum towards forging a new global pact to ward off threats to nature exemplified by recent fires in the Amazon and California.

 

While many of the companies said they were already taking steps to make their operations greener, governments needed to provide the policies that would allow them to do more.

 

"Healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely on nature. Governments must adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade," the companies said in a statement.

 

"Together let's protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources," they added. Others to sign included IKEA [IKEA.UL], Unilever <ULVR.L> and AXA <AXAF.PA>.

 

Business for Nature, the coalition which organised the statement, said it was the first time so many companies had issued a joint call emphasising the crucial role healthy ecosystems play in human well-being.

 

"Many businesses are making commitments and taking action. But for us all to live well within the planet's finite limits, we need to scale and speed up efforts now, not tomorrow," said Eva Zabey, executive director, Business for Nature.

 

Last year the IPBES international panel of scientists said a million species were at risk of extinction.

 

About two-thirds of the world's animals - mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles - have vanished over the last 50 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

 

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by David Holmes)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-09-21
 
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4 hours ago, Dumbastheycome said:

"While many of the companies said they were already taking steps to make their operations greener, governments needed to provide the policies that would allow them to do more. "

I am trying to understand what stands in the way of achieving the objective that requires Govt. policy to "allow" ?

Zero tax mayhap?

 

What stands in the way? Economic development and progress, and the desire of most people to increase their wealth. There have been a number of mass extinctions in the past, about 6 that have been identified. The last mass extinction occurred about 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct, including an estimated 76% of all species on the planet at that time. But that's only a rough estimate. The fact is, we simply don't know how many species of the various life-forms exist. Most life consists of tiny insects, microbes, earthworms, fungi, and plant roots below the soil surface, out of sight.

 

Extinction is a natural process that occurs continuously as species fail to adapt to changing circumstances. Even viruses, such as the Flu virus, can adapt and become resistant to vaccinations over time.

 

The problem is, how much of our current lifestyles and wealth are we prepared to sacrifice in order to prevent the extinction of other species which we sometimes think are cute, like Koalas, Tigers, Rhinoceroses, and various species of birds and fish?

 

The sorts of human activities that are contributing to the current rate of extinction are;  hunting, introducing invasive species to the wild, such as Cane Toads and Rabbits in Australia, and pet cats that have escaped their home and gone wild to feed on whatever prey they can find; pollution from plastic waste and toxic chemicals, land clearing and changing wetlands and forests to croplands and urban areas, over fishing, and so on.

 

Government regulation is the way to address this situation, but that can have adverse political and economic consequences. For example, there have been instances in Australia when proposals to build a dam to meet water shortages, due to drought conditions, have been rejected because environmentalists predicted that a rare species of fish might become extinct if the dam construction went ahead. Therefore, the dam proposal is rejected, then a few years later the drought breaks and there is massive flooding which causes billions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure, which could have been prevented, or at least mitigated, if the dam had been approved.

 

However, one way we have been addressing the problem is to emit more CO2 into the environment. Plants love CO2. When we cut down the forests for urban development or agriculture, the remaining forests and natural habitats flourish due to increased CO2 levels. 😉
 

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7 hours ago, Tug said:

Good let’s evolve towards a more sustainable way of doing things for our grandchildren and our Mother Earth 

Sure but the corporate zombies all want something for their help, sometimes making their help too expensive. 

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3 hours ago, VincentRJ said:

What stands in the way? Economic development and progress, and the desire of most people to increase their wealth. There have been a number of mass extinctions in the past, about 6 that have been identified. The last mass extinction occurred about 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct, including an estimated 76% of all species on the planet at that time. But that's only a rough estimate. The fact is, we simply don't know how many species of the various life-forms exist. Most life consists of tiny insects, microbes, earthworms, fungi, and plant roots below the soil surface, out of sight.

 

Extinction is a natural process that occurs continuously as species fail to adapt to changing circumstances. Even viruses, such as the Flu virus, can adapt and become resistant to vaccinations over time.

 

The problem is, how much of our current lifestyles and wealth are we prepared to sacrifice in order to prevent the extinction of other species which we sometimes think are cute, like Koalas, Tigers, Rhinoceroses, and various species of birds and fish?

 

The sorts of human activities that are contributing to the current rate of extinction are;  hunting, introducing invasive species to the wild, such as Cane Toads and Rabbits in Australia, and pet cats that have escaped their home and gone wild to feed on whatever prey they can find; pollution from plastic waste and toxic chemicals, land clearing and changing wetlands and forests to croplands and urban areas, over fishing, and so on.

 

Government regulation is the way to address this situation, but that can have adverse political and economic consequences. For example, there have been instances in Australia when proposals to build a dam to meet water shortages, due to drought conditions, have been rejected because environmentalists predicted that a rare species of fish might become extinct if the dam construction went ahead. Therefore, the dam proposal is rejected, then a few years later the drought breaks and there is massive flooding which causes billions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure, which could have been prevented, or at least mitigated, if the dam had been approved.

 

However, one way we have been addressing the problem is to emit more CO2 into the environment. Plants love CO2. When we cut down the forests for urban development or agriculture, the remaining forests and natural habitats flourish due to increased CO2 levels. 😉
 

All you state has truth to it. But where in what you say does it provide a clue as to what these "Top Companies" require from any Government or  via the UN to clean up their act that is  of assistance rather than resistance to  profit and greed which is usually what they ask  for ( and  get ! ) ?

I hardly expect they are inviting realistic reductions in the worldly economic  game.

 

Edited by Dumbastheycome
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Dumbastheycome! Your spot on and BTW these are the companies and more that brought us their energy, pharma , and poisons to our societies around the world for 100 years now other wise if not forced by these psychopathic money mongers we would have a much much more balanced and clean environment. Bottom LINE. Proffits are GOD to them. Sick really sick MF's and they blame it on the 99.99% of the global population that never had a choice , just tyranny.

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