One million species are at imminent risk of extinction due to humanity’s greed, scientists warn

Rob Waugh
Contributor
A million species are at risk, the experts warned (Getty)

One million species of animals and plants face imminent extinction as industrial farming and fishing ravage the planet, scientists warned today.

A UN report saw scientists appeal to governments and businesses to confront ‘vested interests’ which are blocking reforms in farming, energy and mining.

The study was produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES),which includes 130 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China.

The study pointed the finger at industrial farming and fishing as major drivers of the crisis, but warned that climate change caused by fossil fuels was exacerbating losses.

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The report, compiled over three years and based on 15,000 scientific papers, identified risks to humans including the disappearance of insects which pollinate food crops.

The rate of species extinction is currently tens to hundreds of times higher than the average seen in the planet’s last ten million years, the researchers warned.

‘If we want to leave a world for our children and grandchildren that has not been destroyed by human activity, we need to act now,” said Robert Watson,

‘If we do not act now, many of the million threatened species will become as extinct as the dodo on this tie,’ Watson said, pointing to an image on his tie.