Nobel for IPCC will stimulate environmental action across globe: Pak expert

November 14th, 2007 - 2:24 am ICT by admin  
Adil Najam, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University said, “The climate is a security issue, not just a ‘feel good’ issue. This will clearly raise the profile of the climate issue.”

Najam feels that highly industrialised nations, including the US, will now find additional pressure on them to act and do something to curb environmental hazards.

As for developing countries like Pakistan, environment is really a development issue at its core; The News quoted him, as saying.

Najam, who holds a doctorate and two masters’ degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a specialization in negotiation from Harvard Law School, and an engineering degree from UET, Lahore, said, “It’s about the quality of life of people. If we care about people, especially poor people, then we must care also about the environment.”

“Because the poor - whether they are farmers, or herders, or fuel-wood gatherers, or fisher folk - they all depend on the environment for their livelihoods. If the environment deteriorates, then the quality of their lives will deteriorate. That, ultimately, is the real environmental challenge,” he added.

Commenting on the steps to contain environmental degradation, Najam said, “The most important thing that we can do to stem environmental degradation is to look at our own consumption and lifestyle; especially amongst the rich and in rich countries.”

“In this respect, the environment is also a justice issue. Till now the poor are subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich. This cannot, must not, continue,” he added.

The solution to climate change will come from technology - better automobiles, alternative and renewable energy, better building technologies.

“But, ultimately, if we want to address global climate change in the context of sustainable development, then we will need to also address consumption issues amongst the rich, in both developing and industrialised countries,” he said.

“This does not mean we have to halt development in the developing countries; it means that we have to rethink what we mean by development,” he explained. (ANI)

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