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UNESCO Adopts Declaration on Ethical Principles of Climate Change 13/11/2017
Paris, 13 November 2017
The 39th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO has today adopted the Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change. The Global declaration was prepared by a high-level group of experts appointed by UNESCO’s Director General in 2016. The Declaration will be presented on 15 November at UNESCO Pavilion at the climate summit COP-13 in Bonn, Germany. The 24-member group included balanced representation from all regions, including Najib Saab of Lebanon, who is Secretary General of Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). Saab is editor of the acclaimed AFED report entitled Impact of Climate Change on Arab Countries.
The declaration, which contains 17 articles, calls upon states, individuals and communities to integrate ethical principles in all decisions and actions related to climate change. It urges policies and actions to mitigate and enable adaptation to climate change, with all parties working in a spirit of justice, global partnership and solidarity, in particular with the poorest and most vulnerable people. Scientific and financial support should be made available to all to deal with climate change, including effective and timely access to information and knowledge, and on the means of how to implement mitigation and adaptation action. To ensure that future generations meet their needs in a changing environment, the declaration calls for promoting sustainable development goals, especially by adopting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, using resources efficiently and supporting climate-friendly energy sources and technologies. The declaration stresses the principle of solidarity, whereby the wellbeing and survival of future generations depend on the current use of resources and impact on nature.
One pivotal section of the declaration is on the inevitability of scientific knowledge and integrity in decision-making regarding climate change. In order to optimally aid climate change policies, science needs to meet the highest standards of research integrity by being impartial and rigorous, while giving adequate estimate of uncertainty. This should be coupled with applying the precautionary principle, whereby uncertainty cannot be used as a pretext to cause possible harm. The declaration calls upon states to protect the independence of science and the integrity of the scientific process, including maintaining high standards and transparency regarding funding. Scientific literacy on climate change should be promoted, coupled by building effective mechanisms to strengthen the interface between science, public and policy, to ensure evidence-based decision-making.
Committee member Najib Saab commented that “the adoption of this global declaration is a milestone in the battle against climate change. It highlights for the first time some critical principles, which make fighting climate change and providing all people with equal means to adapt to its impacts an ethical duty. It also stresses the importance of science and knowledge in climate decision-making, calling on keeping scientific research free of political interference. This is a strong message to Trump-style climate policies, which undermine mainstream science.”
Saab stressed that “the only way to check the influx of environmental refugees from most vulnerable countries is to take fast action to stop global warming at manageable levels, and help poorer countries with adaptation measures, to support people to stay in their home communities.”
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Boghos Ghougassian
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Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries
ان جميع مقالات ونصوص "البيئة والتنمية" تخضع لرخصة الحقوق الفكرية الخاصة بـ "المنشورات التقنية". يتوجب نسب المقال الى "البيئة والتنمية" . يحظر استخدام النصوص لأية غايات تجارية . يُحظر القيام بأي تعديل أو تحوير أو تغيير في النص الأصلي. لمزيد من المعلومات عن حقوق النشر يرجى الاتصال بادارة المجلة
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