End of the world warning as WWF unveils new alarming report

Nick Ferrari challenges climate minister about King's COP27 snub

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A new report from the WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has found that the Earth is on the brink of catastrophe, as climate change triggered by human activities has created large scale biodiversity loss. This could end up eradicating natural habitants of the planet unless change happens, it has been warned. Findings from its Living Planet 2022 report show that population sizes of global wildlife have fallen by 69 percent on average since 1970. The report in particular blames the consumption habits of wealthy countries, and the global reliance on fossil fuels like oil and natural gas as “disproportionally driving nature loss”. WWF particularly sounded the alarm bells on the data received from tropical regions including the Caribbean and Latin America, which show a scary drop in population sizes. 

Losing 69 percent of the wildlife population is significant. For context, in humans, that would be the equivalent of losing everyone from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Oceania and China.

These regions, which are home to some of the most diverse regions in the world including the Amazon rainforest, are seeing currently seeing average wildlife population sizes plummet by 94 percent since 1970. 

This staggering rate outstrips all other regions on Earth. Species seeing catastrophic loss include the Amazon pink river dolphin, which saw its population in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas plummet by 65 percent between 1994 and 2016. 

Released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Egypt next month (COP27), the report blames world leaders for “failing to deliver on their promises for nature and climate, putting unbearable strain on our planet and placing all life on Earth on the brink of catastrophe.”

Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: “Despite the science, the catastrophic projections, the impassioned speeches and promises, the burning forests, submerged countries, record temperatures and displaced millions – world leaders continue to sit back and watch our world burn in front of our eyes.

“The climate and nature crises, their fates entwined, are not some faraway threat our grandchildren will solve with still-to-be-discovered technology.

“Across the world, and in the UK, nature is on its knees and our leaders are risking catastrophic consequences for people, planet and our economy by failing to act.

“We are hurtling towards a hotter planet where nature – and with it, our food, our homes and livelihoods – will be unable to survive without urgent action now to save our climate. The world doesn’t have time to wait – and doing so would be the biggest possible betrayal of future generations.”  

The WWF urged world leaders to increase “conservation and restoration activities in these tropical regions”, adding that without countries, including the UK, getting back to its nature and climate promises, such efforts won’t succeed. 

However, they added action needs to be taken everywhere, not just in the tropics. According to the Biodiversity Intactness Index, the UK has only 50 percent of its biodiversity richness compared to historic levels, placing it as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

The WWF also noted that the failure of the UK Government to keep climate and nature promises would be the “greatest betrayal for all future generations” and could threaten the country’s economic recovery.

The NGO urged the Tory Government, elected on their greenest ever manifesto, to double down on delivering their climate and nature commitments, and embrace net zero solutions as the only route to economic, energy and food security.

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Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global reliance on fossil fuels has been under extreme scrutiny, as Vladimir Putin has manipulated gas supplies to send energy prices soaring across the world. 

Renewable energy is playing a major role in helping Europe end its reliance on Russian gas, as EU and the UK ramp up solar, wind and nuclear projects. 

Aside from boosting energy security, renewable energy has also been shown to lower costs, as recent analyses have found that renewable energy sources like offshore wind are nine times cheaper than current gas prices. 

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