Governments should adopt responsible economics to help save the environment from the costs of rapid globalisation, a United Nations report said on Tuesday. The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) said rapid globalisation -- which is seen as contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases -- had an impact on the world's finite natural resources and, if unchecked, could eventually exercabate poverty and conflicts over scarce raw materials. UNEP chief Achim Steiner said globalisation risked devouring its own gains, notably in the eradication of poverty. "Wealth is being generated on an unprecedented scale and millions are being lifted out of poverty. But a big question mark hangs over its future and its sustainability for current and future generations," he said. "If rising living standards and inefficient methods of production and consumption intensify pressure on nature's natural resources -- from fish, freshwater and the atmosphere to forests and fragile land -- globalization could become a spectacular failure rather than a saviour," he warned. "The question is not whether globalization is good or bad but whether we have in place the regulations, creative economic instruments, guidelines, rules and partnerships that ensure it delivers the widest possible benefits at the minimum price to the planet," he added. While conceding that globalisation was the key to modern development, the agency warned that the model would undo its gains if governments fail to heed calls of sustaining the increasingly fragile environment. "Action towards a more intelligent, socially acceptable and environmentally sensitive form of globalisation is long overdue," the UNEP report warned.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.