Urbanization and Economic Growth in Latin America and Caribbean Damaging Air and Water Quality

United Nations Environment Programme (2016)

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a biologically rich region with complex political, social and natural contrasts. However, economies share a heavy reliance on primary products and natural resources, which account for approximately 50 per cent of all good exports. Urban areas continue to grow along with populations, coupled with growing consumption by middle classes. This has led to a situation in which air quality in cities has declined, emissions are growing, and water and other natural resources are under pressure. The future of the region’s economies depends heavily on the region’s natural capital, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and decoupling economic growth from resource consumption. The GEO-6 report looks at the state of play in five key areas, highlights drivers of environmental impacts and looking at ways to address them.