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Health Equity in a Globalizing EraPast Challenges, Future Prospects$
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Ronald Labonté and Arne Ruckert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198835356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198835356.001.0001

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Imperilling the health of the global environmental commons

Imperilling the health of the global environmental commons

(p.267) Chapter 12 Imperilling the health of the global environmental commons
Health Equity in a Globalizing Era

Ronald Labonté

Arne Ruckert

Oxford University Press

Alongside persisting and massive wealth inequalities, the ecological toll that human population growth and the economic appropriation of natural resources has taken on the sustainability of the myriad ecosystems essential to human survival is now the major threat to future health and human survival. With ecologists arguing that we have entered a new geologic era (the Anthropocene) in which our planet is shaped almost entirely by human activity, the greatest environmental threat is often considered to be climate change. But there are few of the ecological boundaries on which life depends that are not in crisis of being breached. The causes and the consequences of this looming health catastrophe are wholly inequitable: the wealthy benefit, the poor pay the price. There is some technological optimism on the horizon, but fundamentally the present excesses of human consumption and productions, and their misallocation globally, require a rapid reversal if the intent of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the targets of the new Sustainable Development Goals are to have any chance of attainment.

Keywords:   climate change, Anthropocene era, Paris Accord, Sustainable Development Goals, trade and environment, hyperconsumption, green energy, extractive industries

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