Global Environment Outlook 6 - Summary for Policymakers

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March 2019
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

The sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6), focusing on the theme “healthy planet, healthy people”, aims to help policymakers and all of society achieve the environmental dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals, internationally agreed environmental goals and the multilateral environmental agreements. It does so by assessing recent scientific information and data, analyzing current and past environmental policy, and identifying future options for achieving sustainable development by 2050.

GEO-6 builds on previous GEO reports and continues to provide an analysis of the state of the global environment, the global, regional and national policy response as well as the outlook for the foreseeable future. It differs from previous GEO reports in its emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals and in providing possible means of accelerating achievement of these goals. GEO6 is made up of four distinct but closely linked parts.

  • Part A assesses the state of the global environment in relation to key internationally agreed goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Part B provides an analysis of the effectiveness of the policy response to these environmental challenges.
  • Part C reviews the scenarios literature and assesses pathways towards achieving Agenda 2030 as well as achieving a truly sustainable world in 2050.
  • Part D identifies future data and knowledge necessary to improve our ability to assess environmental impacts.

The GEO-6 also considers key policy questions. These include:

  • What are the primary drivers of environmental change?
  • What is the current state of the environment and why?
  • How successful have we been in achieving our internationally agreed environmental goals?
  • Have there been successful environmental policies? v What are the policy lessons learned and possible solutions?
  • Is the current policy response enough? v What are the business as usual scenarios and what does a sustainable future look like?
  • What are the emerging issues and megatrends including their possible impacts?
  • What are the possible pathways to achieving Agenda 2030 and other internationally agreed environmental goals?

The Summary for Policymakers (available in ArabicFrenchRussian, and Spanish). It is complemented by set of Key Messages, and two infographics: Add oxygen to the economy. Go Circular and Revisiting our food system