His criticism is as devastating as the consequences of the problem he describes. “The business world has been exploiting nature in a ruthless, unbridled fashion for years,” declared United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Achim Steiner, summarizing his organization’s latest report in mid-July.
In an interview with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, he condemned the unprecedented pace at which species, habitats, the wilderness, and entire ecosystems are disappearing. “The world’s natural capital is being destroyed on a massive scale,” he warned, targeting the global economy with much of his criticism. According to a recent UN study, 3,000 of the most prominent global companies cause €2 trillion in environmental damage every year.
“Many corporations are still operating under the assumption that natural resources are inexhaustible. We’ve long since realized – painfully – that that’s not the case,” Steiner pointed out. He went on to deplore the fact that many countries’ economies are “blind to the huge role that the diversity of plants, animals, and other species plays in how ecosystems work.”
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