Pollution and Degradation of the Environment

Recent industrialisation and exploitation of the world’s resources are causing severe degradation of the environment.  Each country is responsible for introducing its own regulations, but there has been considerable international political progress in agreeing policies and monitoring progress on these issues:

The World Bank has supported the Black Sea Danube Basin Partnership in co-ordinating efforts to manage pollution from the 17 countries which discharge water into the Black Sea.

Problems with the export of ‘acid rain’ and subsequent problems led to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) agreeing an Environment Policy that identifies best practice and helps member countries to make improvements.  More work is necessary on international air pollution, though, as shown for example in a Gizmodo article: All of That Pollution in Asia Turns Into Smog in the U.S.

UN Resolution 70-1 lists requirements to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” as Goal 14, and “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” as Goal 15.  The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) monitors progress against these goals.

Politicians are subjected to considerable pressure from industry to lighten regulations, but they must take into account the interests of the population and the international agreements they have made.  International legal arbitration services are available, if necessary ( 



This is a current page, updated since publication of Patterns of Power Edition 3a.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6752b.htm