How Alcohol Impedes the Human Right to Healthy Environments
The UN General Assembly has declared access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right.
The resolution notes that the right to a healthy environment is related to existing international law and affirms that its promotion requires the full implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.
This Alcohol Issues Special Feature explores how alcohol affects the three planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
The newly recognised human right will be crucial to tackling the triple planetary crisis – the three main interlinked environmental threats that humanity currently faces:
- climate change,
- pollution, and
- biodiversity loss.
Through its multiple health, social and economic harms, alcohol is a massive obstacle to sustainable human development, adversely affecting all three dimensions of development and reaching into all aspects of society.
Alcohol adversely affects 14 out of 17 SDGs and a total of 54 targets.
Alcohol production, consumption fuels climate crisis. Very few people actually think of alcohol in terms of its climate impact.
Alcohol production threatens sustainable use of natural resources. The production of alcoholic beverages is very resource-intensive and not environmentally sustainable. By some estimates, up to 92% of brewing ingredients are wasted.
Alcohol production degrades ecosystems and threatens biodiversity.