As the Director of Green Cross/Global Green USA's Environmental Security & Sustainability Program, I am pleased to join with 159 other environmental laureates from 46 countries today calling on charitable foundations and philanthropists to use their enormous financial power to address global warming. Our appeal, published today in a full-page ad in the International New York Times, appears just one week before the world’s leaders convene in New York for the United Nations Climate Summit. Our appeal states that the world “is heading for 4-6 degrees Centigrade of global warming, given current policies on the burning of coal, oil, and gas,” and we underline the very real and growing threat that “we will lose our ability to feed ourselves, run out of potable water, increase the scope of war, and cause the very fabric of civilization to crash.” These common concerns among us all are based on the most recent findings of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and need to be addressed by us all immediately.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders from government, finance, business, and civil society to the New York Climate Summit next week and has challenged them to make bold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build political momentum towards a global climate change treaty at the December 2015 Paris Climate Summit. I warn, along with my fellow environmental laureates, that time to prevent damaging global warming is fast running out and the Paris Climate Summit may be our last chance to agree on a global treaty capable of saving civilization. We emphasize in our appeal that foundations and philanthropists have the financial resources to respond on a scale that would materially increase negotiators’ chances of success in Paris.
I will be in New York City next Sunday, September 21, 2014, to underline our appeal by joining the thousands of fellow environmentalists marching against climate change and welcome all of our colleagues and concerned citizens to do likewise in their own cities, states, and countries. Only by addressing global warming now will we all be able to prevent massive suffering in the foreseeable future.