6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where do we stand?

The unparalleled success of the Montreal Protocol shows that action on climate change is within grasp
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer comes this year, 2012, with many achievements to celebrate. Most notably, there has been a reduction of over 98 percent in the consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Further, because most of these substances are also potent greenhouse gases, the Montreal Protocol has contributed significantly to the protection of the global climate system.

The reductions achieved to date leave hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as the largest group of substances remaining to be phased out. Given the Protocol’s successful track record, and status of universal ratification, Governments have been considering an amendment that would take on HFCs, a class of global warming chemicals that are often used as substitutes for certain ozone-depleting substances.

The parties to the Protocol are now hoping to achieve universal ratification of all of the Protocol’s amendments as well. Failure to ratify all of the amendments by the end of the year could lead to the imposition of trade sanctions on non-parties, which in turn would preclude them from procuring HCFCs needed for a measured, thoughtful phase-out.

Consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer, 1986-2010 (thousands of metric tons of potential to destroy the ozone layer)

Line Chart

UNDP's work around the globe

Quick Facts

  • The net loss worldwide of forests decreased over the last 20 years, from -8.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to -5.2 million hectares per year in the last decade.
  • Overexploitation of global fisheries has stabilized, but steep challenges remain to ensure their sustainability.
  • The number of people who do not use any facility and resort to open defecation has decreased by 271 million since 1990. But there remain 1.1 billion people, or 15 percent of the global people with no sanitation facilities at all.
  • The number of people using improved drinking water sources reached 6.1 billion in 2010, up by over 2 billion since 1990.
  • In 2010, 89 percent of the world’s population was using improved water sources, up from 76 percent in 1990.
  • The share of urban slum residents in the developing world declined from 39 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2012.
  • More than 200 million people gained access to improved water sources , improved sanitation facilities, or durable or less crowded housing.
  • Slum prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan Africa and increase in countries affected by conflict.

1.69 years
until 2015

1990 2015
Featured Publication
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012

Three important targets on poverty, slums and water have been met three years ahead of 2015, says this year’s Report. Meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible ─ but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments.

More MDG-related publications
Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums