Human-induced environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented scale and pace and the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes in societies around the world is rapidly closing. These outcomes include economic instability, large-scale involuntary migration, conflict, famine and the potential collapse of social and economic systems. The historical disregard of environmental considerations in most areas of policy has been a catastrophic mistake.
In response, this paper argues that three shifts in understanding across political and policy communities are required: of the scale and pace of environmental breakdown, the implications for societies, and the subsequent need for transformative change
*This report has been amended following its initial publication. Amendments include additional context in relation to the debate around extreme weather events and an acknowledgment of the need for caution when using the EM-DAT database as a source for trends of natural disasters. These amendments have no material impact on the conclusions made by the report.
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