Global Challenges: Climate Change, Food Security, Human Rights, and Migration
Examples of Global Challenges
The world is facing a range of global challenges. These are problems that affect all nations and all societies.
These challenges are often complex and require a variety of disciplines to understand them. This is why a programme like LUC’s Liberal Arts and Sciences is ideal for tackling these issues.
Climate change poses a huge global challenge because it carries multiple risks that threaten human health, economic development and the natural environment. The global community must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop sustainable energy sources and manage the world’s resources more efficiently.
Rising temperatures from fossil fuel emissions cause global warming, which impacts the Earth’s systems by melting ice sheets and sea level rise; depleting oxygen in oceans by reducing phytoplankton; changing seasons that strain agricultural systems; and raising risks to cities and settlements. People most affected by climate change are those who contribute least to its causes – often low-income communities in poor countries.
Reducing global warming requires huge cuts in the use of coal, oil and natural gas. It also depends on a shift toward renewable energy, which offers enormous business opportunities while presenting a safer path to restabilizing the planet’s climate. Achieving these goals will require governments, communities and businesses working together. It’s a Herculean task, but one we can solve with early action and innovative policies.
Global food security is a major concern. Although the number of undernourished people has declined, the trend is not as positive as it could be. It is largely due to climate change, but also to the way agriculture is financed and policies are implemented. International solidarity funds are often channeled through export crops that are more profitable than food crops. This reduces the impact of these funds and actually does little to fight poverty.
It is important to address all the factors that contribute to food insecurity, including increasing agricultural productivity and developing new methods of production. This can be achieved by fostering ethical market economies, investing in research and education and fighting against new and re-emerging diseases. A strong focus on local communities is also necessary. Moreover, countries need to protect themselves against unexpected events such as the coronavirus pandemic in 2019 that caused a disruption of their food supplies and triggered high commodity prices.
Human rights norms, such as the Universal Declaration and subsequent treaties, affirm that all people have equal dignity as humans. They are not to suffer discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, sex, age, language, religious or political beliefs, profession and property. They also are to enjoy due process rights, ensuring the right to protection and redress for any harms they have suffered.
They are interdependent and indivisible, meaning that no one right is more important than another and that guarantees of any of them cannot be withdrawn. They are inalienable, recognizing that no person can be bought, sold or otherwise taken away from others, regardless of their wealth, status and skin-colour.
This dossier capitalises on the depth of research and scholarship at the Graduate Institute, and brings its insights to a non-specialist audience. It also provides a platform for debate, combining rigour with state-of-the-art maps, infographics and interviews. The aim is to highlight the complexity of global challenges that are rooted in politics, international relations and governance.
Human migration has long been a global issue. However, it takes on new importance in our interconnected world. It affects many other issues, including climate change, economic development, and the fight against new and emerging diseases.
People migrate for a variety of reasons. Some people move voluntarily, while others are forced to leave. They may migrate to reunite with family members who have moved abroad, to find work, or to escape poverty and natural disasters.
Migratory movements can take place over a long period of time, or they can be seasonal. The most common type of migration is international, which involves moving between countries. However, it is also possible to move within a country, which is called internal migration. Regardless of the type of migration, both can cause distress to migrants and lead to mental health complications. This is due to lack of preparedness, language difficulties, cultural differences and adverse experiences. In addition, they often do not seek help and have little support from the community.