The planet is in danger of crossing a “tipping point” of irreversible damage to its atmosphere, climate, water and ecosystems unless governments can develop comprehensive strategies to promote growth and sustainability, warns a new report released on Thursday by an environmental advocacy branch of the United Nations.
Jane Barr, a geographer from Montreal who authored the North American chapter of the report, said climate change could exacerbate problems related to droughts and sufficient water availability for some parts of the continent, particularly in the U.S. midwest and in western Canadian provinces such as Alberta.
“Tipping points are very controversial of course. We don’t know when they will happen or if they will happen,” she said. “Scientists do know that there are potential tipping points and that’s something new, and that’s something that this report will highlight, and it might catch people’s eyes because there are dangers out there. That is certain.”