Book review: Vital signs: the trends that are shaping our future (volume 21)
- Natural resources ,
- Waste ,
- Pollution & Waste Management
The Worldwatch Institute/$21.99/ISBN: 978-1-61091-539-7
The annual Vital signs from The Worldwatch Institute is targeted at policymakers, planners and environmental advocates – us!
Presented in a concise, digestible format, it delivers global trends information on selected key issues on which most IEMA members would wish to be updated. From energy, transport, food, resources and conflicts to societal trends, it clearly presents data essential to maintaining currency and credibility to those involved in promoting the transition to sustainable business and economy.
In 2012, the book tells us, global fossil fuel subsidies were on a par with global military spend (itself second highest); world car production was at a record at 67 million; the capacity of decommissioned nuclear plants topped 50GW, while only seven new plants, with a combined capacity of 6.9GW, were built; and the cost of solar photovoltaic panels fell 80% as support for renewables continued to grow. Most indicators concern continuing growth as pressure continues to increase on natural resources. Typically, UK contribution and performance are included.
This book provides an excellent analysis of the challenges that society faces, and is a valuable tool in the development of solutions applicable to organisations seeking a framework that is sustainable in terms of ecological and human health.
Dave Stanley, director at e3.
Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.