What do the indicators tell us? Building on OECD indicators, Guillaume Sainteny, Aldo Ravazzi, Myriam Linster and Simon Upton repositioned the climate in the broader context of major environmental issues and related policies: the circular economy and material productivity, sustainable management of natural resources, environmental quality and health, biodiversity, taxation and economic instruments.
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The data are there to prove it: whether we are talking about natural resource consumption, waste generation or air emissions, decoupling is possible. These positive developments are attributable both to the rise of the services sector and with it, the displacement of resource- and pollution-intensive production abroad, as well as to policy action and technical progress. The economic crisis also contributed to relieve some pressures on the environment.
Environment at a Glance also reveals where progress has slowed or is insufficient. There is substantial scope for strengthening air and climate policies, changing patterns of energy consumption, improving waste and materials management, preserving biodiversity and natural assets, and implementing more integrated policies.
Rue de l'échiquier, 2015
"Climate change is real and incredibly important, and we can’t deny it. But since the nineties, this subject has grown so much that it now dominates, sometimes hides and even damages environmental policies."
"Yes, climate change is a major problem, but it is not more important than air and water pollution, soil erosion or loss of biodiversity. That is what Guillaume Sainteny shows us by comparing, for example, the number of premature deaths induced by these different kinds of problems, their economic cost or the observations and the hierarchy of recommendations established by the major international organizations."