As the United Nations Climate Change Conference(COP 17) concluded in Durban, South Africa on Friday, December 9, delegates from the more than 190 convening nations had made progress on details of the US$100 billion Green Climate Fund intended to assist developing countries most vulnerable to climate change.
But for now, the many urgent challenges faced by such countries, including in the summit’s host continent of Africa, must be addressed through their own actions.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson – South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (M): Africa faces the twin challenge of poverty and climate change.
Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): Ninety percent of Chad Lake has disappeared. You see the Kilamanjaro ice also, the majority of this ice has disappeared due to climate change effect. You see floods and also desertification effects.
VOICE: Supreme Master Television’s correspondent reports on some of the ways South Africa and others are approaching the climate change problem.
Correspondent (F): Coinciding with the COP 17 summit, the South African government unveiled the country’s first ever solar plant at Hazelmere-Verulam. Certainly, while sustainable energy is the way we all should go, some experts point out the need to prioritize measures that would help with more rapid cooling of the atmosphere.
Namely, they urge governments to focus on mitigating the potent greenhouse gas, methane, whose biggest human-made source is the meat industry. This was the message of Indian Member of Parliament and vegan the Honorable Maneka Gandhi, who spoke at a press conference just 3 blocks away from the COP 17 conference center.
Maneka Gandhi – Chair, Climate Change Committee, Indian Parliament; vegan (F): What needs to be done is not to concentrate on carbon dioxide. Do the things that can be done, which means that you go to the next and most important gas, which is methane. You can say, "All right, we will not eat meat. We will not grow meat for others to eat." Not only is it a real solution, but it’s an immediate solution.
Correspondent (F): Many others expressed support for the dietary solution to global warming.
Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): We have the livestock which is polluting a lot with methane gas, which is more potent than CO2.
Dr. Jane Goodall – British primatologist; meat-free advocate (F): As more and more people eat more and more meat, it’s causing extra methane emissions, it’s cutting down the forest, in addition to being very, very cruel.
Correspondent (F): South African vegan cyclist Sven Fortley cycled thousands of miles from Cape Town to Durban over two weeks in his own inspiring campaign.
Sven Fortley - South African vegan cyclist, environmentalist (M): I’m basically highlighting the fact that climate change has a lot to do with individuals, individual choice, daily choice of what drives you, and it’s not only about the fuel that you put in your cars, it’s about the fuel that you put in your body.
Correspondent (F): Reporting for Supreme Master Television, from Durban South Africa.
VOICE: Meanwhile, countries like those in Africa must also quickly find ways to ensure food security for their populations as part of climate change adaptation – which global dietary changes could again significantly help.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson – South African Minister of Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries (M): Right now, Africa produces, and what it produces it doesn’t eat. And it eats what it doesn’t produce. So if you’re producing grains at a good and phenomenal capacity, but using that grain to feed your livestock, then you’ll never have food security.
Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): We have to cut meat consumption, and not to give incentives to produce more food for the livestock in the developed countries.
VOICE: We thank the concerned delegates, activists and others for your calls to urgent, proper measures for both the effective reduction of global warming and food security. May nations everywhere delay no further in adopting life-protecting policies to save our planet.
Sven Fortley - South African vegan cyclist (M): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Speaking during a December 2010 videoconference in the United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the simple actions needed from world leaders to avoid global disaster for humanity.
Sources: Global Post