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Courage: the vital ingredient for a successful climate conference

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Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet, makes a plea to delegates to take bold steps for climate change.


Dignitaries at UN Climate Change Conference. Photo: UNFCCC (CC BY-SA 2.0)

COP20 in Lima is hugely important. We need progress in Lima to move forward to a successful agreement in Paris in December next year. The last IPCC report, the voice of science, is unequivocal: immediate action is needed to keep global warming under 2°C by 2100. The stakes are simply enormous: the future of mankind, a livable world for future generations, the very survival of those already affected by poverty, desertification and natural disasters.

Courageous decisions need to be made and implemented without delay. Simply put, we need to turn away from fossil fuels and embrace low-carbon growth. It may sound hard, but green growth is the only real, sustainable growth. The good news is that renewable energies are fast becoming affordable. And we can save billions if we stop wasting energy as we have been doing for too long.

Delegates in Lima, governments of the world, it is time to forget narrow interests and ideological posturing. Please be bold and consider the interests of our human family. As UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says, “there is no plan B, because there is no planet B”.

Dear ministers, dear delegates, this is time for action. Do it for your people, do it for your children.

Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Elders or The Elders Foundation

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