Yunus urges fast action for a safe planet
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called for immediate action to ensure an equitable, peaceful and happy future for humanity in a permanently safe planet.
"We believe that with bold and visionary leadership and determined action, based on a sustainable economic framework, and an integrated scientific approach, a transition to a safe and happy future is possible," the founder of Grameen Bank said.
"I urge you to act now before it is too late for us.”
He made the remarks at the joint declaration of the Nobel Laureate Symposium and the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Global Sustainability at a roundtable of heads of governments and environment ministers in Rio on Friday.
The symposium and the panel met in the Brazilian city to discuss the "Future we Choose" and jointly produced the declaration.
Prof Yunus summarised the joint declaration and said, "I am from Bangladesh, a country with 160 million people, facing the dangers created by climate change, the very dangers that we are discussing here in Rio."
"We are the front line country for all the upcoming human and natural disasters. I work with poor families, particularly the poor women of Bangladesh. It is these poor people who will be the immediate victims," he added.
"We are concerned that the combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience poses a real threat to humanity's welfare," he commented.
"If human pressures on the planet continues to increase, and we continue with the same basic concepts of economic framework, abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for humanity cannot be excluded," said Yunus, according to a statement of Yunus Centre in Dhaka.
The microcredit pioneer called upon all to exercise a collective responsibility to set the world on a sustainable path by ensuring responsible planetary stewardship by implementing multilateral agreements and strengthening institutions for sustainable development at all levels to ensure equity, within a humane framework economy and ever safe environment.
Yunus commented that there is a need to take urgent action to ensure food, water and energy for everybody on the planet in a sustainable manner, reversing dangerous climate change, safeguarding biodiversity on Earth and manage ocean sustainability peacefully.
Dr Yunus also called for redesigning the economic model, by including social business to solve social problems, as well as re-conceptualising the production and consumption, decoupling growth and prosperity from resource use.