Every year brings hundreds of new reports from hundreds of organizations, some more important than others. Any one report viewed alone, however, does not do justice to the growing global emergency of too many people inflicting costly harm on the environment in too many ways, despite many efforts at mitigation, resilience, conservation, and developing new technological remedies.
This list of recent publications illustrates the great number and wide variety of important and timely reports concerned with global security and/or sustainability, and their sponsoring organizations. Most of these publications are handsomely produced, amply documented, and easily downloaded for no charge. Libraries may still consider these reports as “gray literature,” and scholars and researchers may be overly immersed in traditional books and journal articles, but, arguably, these up-to date reports are the leading edge of thinking about many of the most important global issues.
A listing and brief discussion of recent scientific reports can help to focus attention on the general problem. It may seem presumptuous to propose a list of most notable reports without advice from some expert panel, but doing so takes time, and this listing is meant to initiate discussion. If readers know of other recent reports as good or better than those listed, let’s hear about it.
The reports listed below are combined into a 4,000-word narrative: “Scientists Reporting: Top 25 Recent Online Reports on the Global Environmental Emergency” (September 2019), which can be found here in full. Additional new reports of significance are added at the end.
CLIMATE, HEALTH, and ENERGY
- Global Warming of 1.5oC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Special Report, Oct 2018; 26p Summary and 3p Headline Statements)
- Fourth National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program (Vol. 1, Climate Science Special Report, 2017, 470p; 23p Summary; Vol. 2, Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, Nov 2018, 1,515p; 86p Report-in-Brief with 8p Summary).
- The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability, and People, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Nepal (Jan 2019, 627p; 61p Summary).
- Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change, The Lancet (28 Nov 2018).
- World Energy Outlook 2018, International Energy Agency (Nov 2018, 650p; 6p Summary).
LAND and SEAS
- Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Ecosystem Services, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and EcosystemServices (2018, 686p; 44p Summary).
- Ocean Connections: An Introduction to Rising Risks from a Warming, Changing Ocean, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (May 2018, 466p; 37p Summary).
- Arctic Report Card 2018, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Dec 2018, 113p; 2p Summary).
- Global Linkages: A Graphic Look at the Changing Arctic, GRID-Arendal/UNEP (March 2019, 54p).
FOOD, WATER, and BIODIVERSITY
- Food in the Anthropocene, EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (Jan 2019, 47p; 30p Summary).
- UN World Water Development Report: Leaving No One Behind, UNESCO (March 2019, 182p; 9p Summary).
- Living Planet Report: Aiming High, World Wildlife Fund (Oct 2018, 144p; 35p Summary).
- The State of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, FAO/UN, Commission on Genetic Resources (Feb 2019, 529p; 64p Overview; 4p Summary).
AGENDAS FOR ACTION
- Sustainable Development Report 2019: Transformations to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (June 2019, 465p; 2 p Executive Summary),
- Transformation is Feasible: How to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Within Planetary Boundaries, Stockholm Resilience Centre Report to the Club of Rome (Oct 2018, 58p).
- Exponential Climate Action Roadmap, Global Climate Action Summit-San Francisco (Sept 2018, 107p).
- Re-defining Value—The Manufacturing Revolution, International Resource Panel/UNEP (2018, 272p; 56p Summary).
- Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century: Accelerating Climate Action in Urgent Times, World Resources Institute (2018, 207p; 6p Key Findings and Summary)
- Global Resources Outlook 2019: Natural Resources for the Future We Want, International Resource Panel/UNEP (March 2019, 158p; 36p Summary).
- 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report (SDSN, July 2019, 52p)
- Global Environment Outlook Report 2019, UN Environment Programme (March 2019, 708p; 25p Summary).
- World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, BioScience 67:12, Dec 2017, 1026-1028).
- The Global Risks Report 2019, World Economic Forum (Jan 2019, 107p; Summarizes Top Ten in Likelihood and Top Ten in Impact).
- Global Catastrophic Risks, Global Challenges Foundation-Stockholm (2018 Annual Report, 79p; 7p Forward).
OTHER NOTABLE RECENT REPORTS
- Banking on Climate Change—2019 Fossil Fuel Report Card, Banktrack (March 2019, 109p).
- Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050, World Resources Institute (Dec 2018, 90p).