As background information to set the stage for the Summit, the UN has prepared a report on trends in sustainable development. (large pdf) The authors call upon all of us to meet the challenge of reversing the global trends that continue to burden our overtaxed environment. |
For example, consider this alarming energy trend:
Low-income countries depend on biomass energy, but it is a health threat for billions
"Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and some in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, depend on traditional biomass for most of their national energy supplies, in some cases up to 90 per cent. Most people in rural Africa and Asia do not have access to, or cannot afford, fossil fuel or other modern energy supplies. For cooking, heating and other energy needs, over 2.5 billion people in developing countries depend on fuelwood or, when that is unaffordable, on crop residues and animal dung. Traditional cookstoves used in poorly ventilated spaces use biomass inefficiently and produce smoke, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other air pollutants that damage the health of those who tend the stoves. About 2.5 million women and children die each year as a result of acute respiratory infections due to indoor air pollution from traditional cookstoves."