By Jutta Wolf
BERLIN (IDN) – In the run-up to the Climate Action Summit at the UN in New York on September 23, the World Future Council (WFC) has called for immediate measures to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 to avoid climate catastrophe and to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050, and elimination of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
A declaration emerging from a gathering of WFC Councillors and recipients of the Right Livelihood Award at SEKEM, Cairo, pleads for diversion of the USD 1.7 trillion global military budget to sustainable development, urgent action to accelerate the transition towards a green new deal while mainstreaming circular, regenerative economies, and the eradication of hunger by adopting 100 per cent agroecology.
The declaration further calls for protection of at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030, transformation of all curricula to education for sustainable development, and the appointment of guardians for future generations at all levels of decision-making.
The gathering at SEKEM – from September 13-15 – also adopted the work programme of the World Future Council. The organisation works with policy makers, promoting the spread of best policies across the world. “We brought together change makers from around the world and all walks of life. They are urging decision-makers to take rapid action to address the earth emergency,” said Alexandra Wandel, the foundation’s Executive Director.
In regards to decarbonizing the world’s energy systems, the WFC gathering urges policy makers to implement climate policies based on scientific evidence and new technological opportunities.
“Renewable energy is a pathway to prosperity. The technology has huge positive impacts on livelihoods; it creates decent jobs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s bring light, income and health to people across the planet,” said Dipal Barua, Councillor of the World Future Council and Founder of Bright Green Energy Foundation Bangladesh.
To end war and build a secure and sustainable future, the gathering calls on governments to adhere to their obligations as UN members to eliminate nuclear weapons and resolve international conflicts through diplomacy, mediation, arbitration and adjudication.
“In this increasingly interconnected world, there is no longer any excuse to base our security on war or on threatening to annihilate the planet,” said Alyn Ware, Councillor of the World Future Council and Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
The World Future Council is further calling for a transition to 100 per cent agroecology and will expand its work of researching, identifying and championing best policies that up-scale agroecology and thereby address issues of biodiversity, water, agroforestry and landscape restoration, livelihoods, climate, health and animal welfare.
“We need to change our direction. We have the answers; we simply need to act,” says Jan McAlpine, Councillor of the World Future Council and former Director General of the United Nations Forum on Forests.
The SEKEM gathering furthermore calls for effective institutions to safeguard the rights of present and future generations at all levels of government decision making. The council advocates education for sustainable development and calls for it to be widely implemented.
“We applaud the children and youth of today for their creativity, courage, and commitment in demanding action to address the challenges we are facing in securing their future,” said Auma Obama, Councillor of the World Future Council and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation.
Oceans are under vast pressure from overfishing, pollution and acidification. While recognizing that a wide range of transformative measures is needed, the newly founded commission on oceans and waterways will advocate for the protection of at least 30 percent of the oceans by 2030.
“Every person depends on the ocean to live – for seafood, jobs, well-being, and oxygen. We need to take care of our oceans the way they have taken care of us,” says Anna Oposa, Councillor of the World Future Council and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas. [IDN-InDepthNews – 17 September 2019]
Photo: Gathering of WFC Councillors and recipients of Alternative Nobel Prize from 13 to 15 September at SEKEM, Egypt. Credit: SEKEM.
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
facebook.com/IDN.GoingDeeper – twitter.com/InDepthNews