More than one billion people will call for the protection of our planet today as they gather around the world to celebrate Earth Day. Their mission: to raise support for a more sustainable future as climate change continues to wreak havoc across the globe.
Frustrated by the lack of “green” policy at the international level, campaigners are now calling for a new deal to be signed at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit this June.
Forging a new agreement couldn’t be more critical — the Kyoto protocol, which legally binds us to curb global carbon emissions, will expire this year.
After the Copenhagen talks collapsed three years ago, world governments promised to sign a new deal in 2012. But, they are now backtracking on that pledge. Instead, they are looking to 2020 as their new timeline.
According to Lord Stern, author of a landmark paper on the economics of climate change, “postponing an agreement until then marks “a collective failure” which “is taking considerable risks with the planet.”
Last November, the United Nations predicted that there will be a rise in “wild weather” over the next century. A week later, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the world is on the brink of irreversible climate change. According to its research, global warming will hit the point of no return in five years in time.
That gives us five years to act; five years to draw up a plan, put it into action and make sure that it works. In other words, we’re entering a state of “emergency.” According to Nasa climate scientist Jim Hansen, we have created a dangerous weather system which will be impossible to fix in the future unless we take action now.
He believes that we have an overriding moral duty to hand over a safe home to both our children and our grandchildren: “Our parents didn’t know that they were causing a problem for future generations, but we can only pretend that we don’t know because the science is now crystal clear.”
Hansen regards human induced climate change to be a grave “moral issue” on par with slavery. British barrister Polly Higgins adopts a similar view. She believes that environmental degradation should be treated as an international peace crime just like genocide and other crimes against humanity.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com