The climate crisis is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and we are not ready for it.  Here are some of the biggest environmental problems in our lifetime.

Poor Governance

Economist and environmentalist have urged policymakers for years to increase the price of activities that emit greenhouse gasses.  To cut emissions quickly, governments must increase future funding for green innovations. This will bring down the costs of low carbon energy sources. In return, it also creates some form of a carbon tax to encourage businesses to cut their carbon emissions.

Carbon taxes used in other countries work in some cases. In other countries, they are not aligned with the pollution profile of energy sources. There are no real repercussions for non-compliance. However, this remains a contentious issue whereby developing countries are allowed to emit more carbon gas in order to develop to the point where they can develop technologies to emit less.

Food Waste

About 1/3 of the food intended for human consumption is wasted or lost – about 1.5 billion tons a year.  This is enough food to feed 3 billion people.

Food waste accounts for the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the United States.  Forty percent of food waste occurs at the post -harvest and processing level. Another 40% occurs at the retail and consumer level.  Most of the food that is wasted at the retail level is done because of aesthetic reasons. It too ugly to sell, even though it is still good. 

Biodiversity Loss

In the last 50 years, the growth of human consumption, population, global trade and urbanism has resulted in humanity using more of the Earth’s resources than it can naturally replenish.  The conversion of habitats, like forests, grasslands and mangroves into agricultural systems has accounted for most of this loss.

More than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction and are likely to be lost in the next 20 years, the same number lost over the whole of the last century.  Without the human destruction of nature, this rate of loss would have taken thousands of years.

Plastic Pollution

In the 50’s, the world produced 2 million tons of plastic per year. By 2015, the annual production swelled to 419 million tons. Considering plastic takes 400 years to decompose, we need now to start discovering new ways to replace plastics or come up with better ways to recycle it instead of just dumping it into our environment.


Forests the size of 20 football fields are cut down every minute. By the year 2030 the planet might have only 10% of it’s forests.  If the rate does not slow down, all forests could be gone in 100 years.  Again, agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation.

Air Pollution

An estimated 4.2 to 7 million people die from air pollution worldwide each year according to the WHO.  Nine out of ten people breathe air that contain high levels of pollutants.

The past COVID-19 crisis has shown that we can reverse the amount of pollution we put into the air, as many countries experienced lower pollution levels.

Global Warming from Fossil Fuels

Increased greenhouse gases have caused temperatures to rise, which are causing catastrophic events all over the earth. This climate crisis is causing tropical storms and other weather-related events such as hurricanes, heat waves and flooding to be more intense and more frequent than seen before. Even if we start cutting the greenhouse gases today, it would take another 15 to 20 years to halt global warming. This is one of the biggest environmental problems.

Melting Ice Caps

Melting ice caps can cause a myriad of problems. Rising sea levels is one the noticeable results. It may not sound like much, but over a period of time the rising level can affect cities along all coastal areas. Since only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, and 2/3 of that water is tucked in frozen glaciers, that leaves very little fresh water for our use, especially when it melts away and mixes with salt water.

We need to adjust our lifestyles now and stop these environmental problems we can have an earth that future citizens can use.