As part of his new focus on sustainable development, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said nothing short of “revolutionary action” is needed.
He strongly asserted that the past century’s insatiable consumption of the world resources is “a global suicide pact”, with time running out to change to an better economic model for survival. He noted that time is becoming the scarcest resource of all. He said,
“We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change. Time to ensure sustainable, climate-resilient green growth. Time to generate a clean energy revolution.”
Ban Ki-moon maintains that sustainable development needs to be the growth agenda for the 21 century, adding that there has been a false belief that the natural resources that have fueled the last century, such as fossil fuels, are infinite.
He asserted that there needs to be a rethinking in the global economy, to secure balanced and sustainable development that will help to lift people out of poverty, while protecting precious ecosystems that support economic growth.
He added that this is not about going back to some imagined past, to pre-industrial times. It’s a leap confidently forward into a future with cutting edge technologies, with the best that science and entrepreneurship can offer. The goal is to develop a safer, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world.
Finally, he pointed out that it’s easy to say the buzzwords “sustainable development”, but to actually make it happen, we have to be prepared to make major changes, in our lifestyles, our economic models, social organizations, and political life.
Certainly, this is going to be no easy task. Do you think the world up to the job? Do we have an alternative path at this point? Do you think there is the will, especially among the wealthy and powerful of the world to help make this happen? Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.