We face a critical environmental crisis. Humanity consumes unsustainably; we use resources at a rate fifty percent faster than they are reproduced by the planet. The population is growing exponentially and climate change, the most important challenge of this century, is already wreaking havoc around the world. Despite numerous existing international environmental treaties, the Earth, and, therefore, human safety and prosperity, is in peril. According to a recent study by scientists from Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the ongoing “sixth mass extinction” threatens to cause an “assault on the foundations of human civilization.” In November 2017, a report signed by more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries warned that without a drastic change, we risk catastrophic disruption to Earth systems that enable life on this planet. According to the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report, states have already begun to take the kinds of actions needed to avoid some of those catastrophic events, but those efforts need to be rapidly accelerated and scaled.
Teresa Parejo Navajas & Nathan Lobel,
Framing the Global Pact for the Environment: Why It’s Needed, What It Does, and How It Does It,
Fordham Envtl. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sustainable_investment_staffpubs/52