COP 17


I had to take time out to write something about the Conference of the Parties #17 that is coming to a close in Durban, South Africa.

I am aware that some countries are finding it difficult to accept Climate Change as an important issue, (or should I say more important than the economy) and Canada’s Environment Minister is among them.  In a speech at the conference he stated that he agreed more with the Cancun Agreement, which places the economy before the environment and is not a legally binding agreement.

But in an attempt to focus on the positive, I wanted to bring your attention to a report issued on November 30th by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  The science is very politely asking the global leaders to take urgent action and remind them the following:-

Madame Chairperson, may I state most humbly that the discussions in this Conference must be guided by the scientific knowledge the IPCC has generated on the human and economic costs of inaction and the direct as well as indirect benefits of early action.

When I had the privilege of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC I asked the rhetorical question, “Will those responsible for decisions in the field of climate change at the global level listen to the voice of science and knowledge, which is now loud and clear?”

In conclusion, we need to keep in mind two profound statements from one of the tallest leaders of our time. These are: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, and “We know what needs to be done – all that is missing is the will to do it”. The great leader who made these statements is Mr. Nelson Mandela!

The IPCC are stating in this document that in order to stabalise the concentration levels of Green House Gasses (GHG) a decrease in the growth rate of Global GDP is required; less than 3% by 2030 and around 5.5% by 2050,. However if we refuse to take action now, then the cost of adapting to a crisis would cost anywhere from 5% – 10-% Global GDP.  This includes having to deal with an estimated 75 – 250 Million Africans being exposed to increased water stress and a 50% reduction in yields of crop from agriculture. I know which route I would like to take.  Let’s put egos to the side a minute here and do the right thing.

Let’s hope the world leaders truly understand the importance of their decisions.

Please read the full statement from the IPCC – it might stir something for your own personal change.

I look forward to see what has occurred when I awake tomorrow.  First thing I will do is admire the Lunar Eclipse and hold hope.

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