Climate change expert hails Qatar
April 30 2014 12:47 AM
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Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the French Republic for Protecting the Planet.
Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the French Republic for Protecting the Planet.

 

Every country has to contribute and everybody has to change to deal with global environmental challenges, Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the French Republic for Protecting the Planet, said yesterday.

Addressing the audience during a lecture on ‘Global Environmental Challenges of the 21st century’ at Qatar University, the envoy appreciated Qatar for being conscious about the environmental challenges that will arise in the future.

He said that he told HE the Prime Minister and HE the Foreign Minister in his meetings that if small countries like Qatar could make a big contribution to environmental causes, then so could the rest of the world.

Hulot called it a great injustice that thousands of children must die world over every year, despite the fact that treatment for them would be available on the other side of the border.

The envoy said that the people at lowest rung of the ladder not only had to face the brunt of increasing inequality, but also bore the humiliation that comes on top of it.

In most cases, it was mere vanity that prevented people from thinking about the consequences of their own actions on the planet, he added.

He said that in the consumerist society of today, there was a crisis of ‘excess’ in the planet, which was making things even worse. If people stopped eating less meat or wasting fuel by using powerful car engines and eating out of season fruits, they too could make an environmental impact.

Hulot said the disparity between the haves and the haves not people could no longer be hidden in this age of globalisation. Moreover there was, what he called, a lack of vision among the leaders in the world to deal with challenges of climate change. He said that progress was meaningless in itself.

He reminded everyone the quote of the great scientist Albert Einstein, who once said: “Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem, in my opinion, to characterise our age. If we desire sincerely and passionately the safety, the welfare and the free development of the talents of all men, we shall not be in want of the means to approach such a state. Even if only a small part of mankind strives for such goals, their superiority will prove itself in the long run.”

The envoy warned that the rise in temperature of the earth’s atmosphere by global warming would have catastrophic consequences for the world. “We should ask ourselves what kind of a future world do we want to give our children…I’m worried that we will realise the consequences of climate change only when it is too late to do anything about it. Maybe, the choice to act may not be available in the future.”

He also spoke about the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 or CMP11 to be held in Paris in 2015, and talked about the need for biodiversity, oceans protection, fighting air, soil and water pollution; desertification and deforestation threats.

Hulot is the founder and president of the Fondation Nicolas-Hulot, an environmental group first created in 1990. He is well known in France for his documentary show “Ushuaïa” which focuses on nature and the environment.

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