Earth’s ‘life support system’ is being destroyed by global business paradigm, UN expert warns

In a hard-hitting report to the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur David Boyd underscored that current business practices, particularly large coporations, pose a severe threat to the planet’s ecological integrity.

‘Colossal impacts’ of the ultrarich

Mr. Boyd emphasized the “colossal impacts” on natural resources, which are being consumed six times faster than the planet can sustain.

“Led by the ultrarich, with their private jets, yachts, massive mansions, space travel and hyperconsumptive lifestyles, humanity is exceeding Earth’s carrying capacity,” the report stated in stark language, singling out the ecological footprint of the world’s most developed nations.

“If everyone consumed like the average American, we would need another four Earths to supply the resources and absorb the wastes,” it added.

Profound consequences

“We are sabotaging Earth’s life support system, with profound consequences for human rights,” he warned.

We are sabotaging Earth’s life support system, with profound consequences for human rights
– David Boyd

He added that States have failed to adequately regulate, monitor, prevent and punish businesses for their abuses of the climate, environment and human rights.

“The situation is further exacerbated as States often encourage, enable and subsidize destructive business activities.”

The Human Rights Council-appointed independent expert highlighted some of the most destructive impacts of business enterprises on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Among them are so-called “greenwashing”, the undermining of scientific fact, enabling corruption and the use of lawsuits to silence debate and intimidate critics. The impacts are documented in a policy brief supplementing Mr. Boyd’s report.

“All businesses are responsible for respecting human rights, including the right to a healthy environment,” he said, stressing States’ duty to protect human rights from actual and potential harm that businesses may cause, and their obligation to hold businesses accountable.

Stark inequalities between the rich and the poor.

A paradox

Mr. Boyd also highlighted a paradox confronting the international community.

He cited the imperative of reducing the ecological footprint to slow climate change while also acknowledging the necessity for increased energy and material use and availability in the Global South.

This, he asserted, is crucial for achieving a comfortable standard of living and ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights, calling on the developed world to spearhead efforts.

“Wealthy States must take the lead in reducing their footprints and financing sustainable and equitable growth in the global South.”

Prioritize benefits, not profits

The independent expert presented several

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The future of WeWork: the business warns of major doubts

New York –

WeWork has sounded the alarm on its ability to stay in business, prompting speculation around the future of the troubled workspace-sharing company.

Last week, WeWork warned there was “substantial doubt” about the New York-based company’s “ability to continue as a going concern” — which is accounting-speak for having the resources needed to operate and stay in business. WeWork pointed to increased member churn, financial losses and the company’s need for cash, among other factors, over the next year.

This isn’t the first time the future of WeWork has been uncertain. The company went public in October 2021 after a spectacular collapse during its first attempt to do so two years earlier — which led to the ouster of its CEO and co-founder, Adam Neumann. WeWork was valued at $47 billion at one point, before investors started to drop off due to Neumann’s erratic behavior and exorbitant spending.

WeWork has made notable efforts to turn the company around since Neumann’s departure, with executives pointing to improvements in annual revenue, significant cuts in operating costs and other growth opportunities as workplaces emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, experts say the risk of bankruptcy is on the table — bringing in questions around implications for the already-weakening world of office real estate.

Here’s what you need to know.


WeWork is a provider of coworking spaces. The company leases buildings and divides them into office areas to sublet to its members, which include small businesses, startups and freelancers who want to avoid paying for permanent office space.

WeWork was founded by Neumann and Miguel McKelvey back in 2010. The startup promised to revolutionize workspaces and saw a meteoric rise in its early years, but over time, WeWork’s operating expenses soared and the company relied on repeated cash infusions from private investors.

Since Neumann’s 2019 ouster, the company has seen several leadership changes. Most recently, Sandeep Mathrani, who joined WeWork in 2020, stepped down in May — bringing David Tolley into the position of interim CEO.

“WeWork’s challenges are a legacy of its earlier and very aggressive expansion… And the costs (that the company bears from) that expansion continue,” said Sam Chandan, director of the Chao-Hon Chen Institute for Global Real Estate Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “By many measures, company revenues and performance is

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