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Global Environment Outlook – GEO-6: Technical Summary
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Book description

The sixth Global Environment Outlook was launched in 2019 at the fourth UN Environment Assembly. It highlighted the ongoing damage to life and health from pollution and land degradation, and warned that zoonosis was already accounting for more than 60% of human infectious diseases. Since then the spread of COVID-19 has demonstrated the enormous challenges a global pandemic can cause for health care systems and the economy, as well as revealing potential environmental benefits of an altered lifestyle. This Technical Summary synthesizes the science and data in the GEO-6 report to make it accessible to a broad audience of policymakers, students and scientists. It demonstrates that more urgent and sustained action is required to address the degradation caused by our energy, food and waste systems and identifies a variety of transformational pathways for those seeking far-reaching policies for environmental and economic recovery. Also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘The sixth Global Environment Outlook is an essential check-up for our planet. Like any good medical examination, there is a clear prognosis of what will happen if we continue with business as usual and a set of recommended actions to put things right. GEO-6 details both the perils of delaying action and the opportunities that exist to make sustainable development a reality.'

António Guterres - Secretary-General of the United Nations

‘The global pandemic COVID-19 has demonstrated the interconnected nature of the planet's life support systems and that we cannot return to business as usual. And the good news is that in building back better, we can ensure both a healthy environment and healthy people.'

Inger Andersen - UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme

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  • Frontmatter
    pp i-iii
  • Acknowledgements
    pp iv-iv
  • Contents
    pp v-v
  • List of Figures
    pp vi-vii
  • List of Tables
    pp vii-vii
  • List of Boxes
    pp vii-vii
  • Co-Chairs’ Message
    pp viii-viii
  • GEO-6 Technical Summary Foreword
    pp ix-x
  • 1 - A Healthy Planet Supports Healthy People
    pp 1-8
  • 2 - Five Drivers Affect the Health of the Planet
    pp 9-20
  • 3 - An Increasingly Unhealthy Planet Affects Everyone’s Health
    pp 21-56
  • 4 - Despite Some Success Stories, Policy Measures Lag Behind
    pp 57-78
  • 5 - A Healthy Planet and Healthy People Are Synergetic: Achieving Transformative Change
    pp 79-92
  • 6 - Data and Knowledge For A Healthy Planet
    pp 93-100
  • Annex 1 - Examples of Other Global Environmental Assessments and Their Links To GEO-6
    pp 101-101
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
    pp 102-103
  • Glossary
    pp 104-106


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