Denis Hayes, the man credited with founding Earth Day, predicted 2020 will be a turning point in the global climate change movement.
“I’m confident that the end is in sight. When conditions are right, people are ready to demand change, and America can turn on a dime,” Hayes told reporters Monday during a news conference on Earth Day, which he helped established in 1970.
Hayes said people around the world are demanding change, especially the young, and that makes him optimistic.
“It recently happened in the United States on gay marriage. It more recently happened in New Zealand on gun control. It happened globally on the ozone hole,” Hayes said.
Tens of thousands of students around the world skipped school for one day last month to protest inaction on climate change. There were protests in South Africa, India, New Zealand and South Korea. In Europe, students packed streets in London, Lisbon, Vienna, Rome and Copenhagen, among other cities.
Mass climate change protests have been taking place in London for the past week. On Monday, police said they have arrested 1,065 people since Extinction Rebellion began, aimed at paralyzing parts of central London to emphasize the need for sharp reductions in carbon use.
“Most social movements are powered by youth,” he told reporters.
Hayes said even though U.S. President Donald Trump has “taken a wrecking ball to international climate treaties, appointed the two worst EPA administrators in history, and pledged to resuscitate the dead coal industry, I’m confident that the end is in sight.” (VOA)
Growing inequality and climate change will not only derail progress toward global sustainability goals but also will threaten human existence, leading scientists said Wednesday at the United Nations.
The world is falling off track on ambitious global development goals adopted by U.N. members, a panel of scientists said in an independent assessment report released at U.N. headquarters.
Member nations unanimously adopted 17 sustainable development goals known as SDGs in 2015, setting out a wide-ranging “to-do” list tackling conflict, hunger, land degradation, gender equality and climate change by 2030.
The bleak assessment report was released ahead of a sustainable-goals summit scheduled at the United Nations this month.
“Overall, the picture is a sobering one,” said Shantanu Mukherjee, policy chief at the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “One element of this is increasing inequality. … Another is the pace at which nature is being degraded by human activity, whether it is climate change or biodiversity loss.”
The independent panel of scientists investigated the ways and systems in which humans and the environment are linked and interact, said Peter Messerli of the University of Bern,
Switzerland, the co-chair of the group of scientists.
“These systems are on a very worrying trajectory, threatening the very existence of humanity,” he told reporters. “We have not realized the urgency to act now.”
Countries must put into practice ways to address vast gaps in wealth distribution and access to economic opportunities and technological advances that undermine innovation and economic growth, the report said.
“Each country has to decide,” Jean-Paul Moatti, chief executive of the French Research Institute for Development and one of the scientists who compiled the report.
“This has to be corrected,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The report called on nations to focus on food and energy production and distribution, consumption and urban growth to find ways of building sustainable development.
The cost of implementing the global goals has been estimated at $3 trillion a year.
These are not the first grim predictions made for the fate of the goals. Earlier reports have said they were threatened by the persistence of violence, conflict and destabilizing climate