Globalisation has had a positive impact on the environment to some extent but there are still some crucial negative impacts of globalization in play. The negative impacts are mainly export-orientated destruction on the environment whilst the positive impacts are increase awareness and multinational corporations’ research into eco-friendly technology.
The main positive impact that globalisation has on the environment are that there is improvements in the use of resources and awareness and that due to globalisation research is being conducted that creates greener technology. Globalisation has assisted in improving the use of resources and saving the environment by promoting growth through development, improving education and incomes. The World Bank is an example of this as it has successfully helped Mexico City in the 1990s to reduce the number of unhealthy ozone days. Due to globalisation multinational corporations have been conducting research and creating technology to reduce the impact of humans on the environment often referred to as green technology. Some examples of greener technology are hybrid cars and the new ‘green’ Apple Mac. Hybrid cars are a green option for cars and they typically achieved greater fuel economy and lower emissions than normal cars which results in fewer emission being generation. Apple has stated that MacBook has been built “using materials that are highly recyclable and free of many of the harmful substances present in other computers.” The software and hardware have also een designed to work together to make the computer more energy efficient and to “minimze the carbon footprint of the MacBook.” Unfortunately the negative impacts of globalisation on the environment far outweigh the positives.
The main negative impact of globalisation on the environment is the impact of export-orientated destruction. The overuse of natural resources due to increased demand and also the removal of ecosystems due to population growth have had a large negative impact on the environment. Extensive deforestation has occurred world-wide with the logging industry being fuelled by the need for disposable products. 11 million acres a year are cut for commercial and property industries. Deforestation whether it is for an increase in demand or for expansion is causing a loss of biological diversity on the planet. In Australia 90% of native forest wood are exported, destroying Australia’s natural heritage. About one half of the forests that covered the Earth are gone. Each year, another 16 million hectares disappear. Deforestation is expanding and accelerating into the remaining areas of undisturbed forest. In Indonesia, powerful families allied with the government rulers control large and highly valuable timber concessions. These forests are being rapidly logged, at enormous profit. Over-fishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level and this leads to resource depletion. Over-fishing has also occurred around the globe with 9 of the world’s 17 major fishing grounds in decline and 4 of them have been fished out commercially. A study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN in 2005 found that global stocks of most fish are stretched to their limits. Nearly a quarter of commercial species have already been over-exploited, with a total 70% of species now being fished close to, at, or beyond their capacity. Globalisation has also had a negative impact on the environment through global warming and climate change.
Globalisation has also had a negative impact on the environment through global warming which is due to greenhouse gas emissions which are caused by a growth of industrialisation in the developing world and by a heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Carbon release into the atmosphere which has caused global warming has resulted in increases of sea levels as ice sheets and glaciers melt which has an extensive impact on biodiversity and weather systems. Average global temperatures have risen approximately 0.6°C since the late 19th century due to humanity’s emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Due to globalisation, transportation and the gases produced has become a large contributor to global warming. About 95% of the world’s traded goods are moved by maritime transport, which in turn causes about 5% of the globe’s sulfur oxides and 14% of the world’s nitrogen oxide emissions. According to the Office of National Statistics ‘Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have risen by 47% since 1990’. The Department of Climate Change in 2008 discovered that Australian greenhouse gas emissions from cars account for 54% of Australia’s total transport emissions.
In the case of globalization the negative impacts on the environment far out weigh the positives. Globalisation has a positive impact on the environment because it causes increased awareness and encourages multinational corporations to take steps in protecting the environment. The negative impacts of globalisation are mainly based around export-orientated destruction but also on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.