UN General Assembly – New sustainability agenda must harmonize humankind’s relationship with planet – UN General Assembly .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

27 APR 2015 – As United Nations Member States prepare to adopt and move toward implementing a new development agenda, the President of the General Assembly said it is critical to ensure that “a harmonious relationship with our planet underpins our quest to achieve sustainable development.”

“This year’s dialogue on Harmony with Nature is timely, as the formulation of an ambitious and transformative development agenda for the next 15 years is under way,” said General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa as he opened the Assembly’s interactive dialogue on ‘Harmony with Nature: Towards achieving sustainable development goals including addressing climate change in the post-2015 development agenda.’

The development path the world has taken has imposed a heavy cost on our planet, leading to serious environmental degradation, he said, underscoring that “it is now widely accepted that our way of life, especially the production and consumption patterns, is no longer sustainable.”

“As scientists have repeatedly warned, we are severely affecting the Earth’s carrying capacity and are in danger of reaching planetary boundaries or tipping points beyond which we risk irreversible and abrupt environmental changes,” he said.

“We have to adopt a post-2015 development agenda that is holistic in nature,” Mr. Kutesa continued. “The agenda should put the well-being of both humankind and our planet at the centre of our sustainable development efforts.”

He drew attention to the need to reach a new, universal climate change agreement this coming December in Paris that will be another important step for ensuring a better chance of preserving the planet for the present and future generations.

via New sustainability agenda must harmonize humankind’s relationship with planet – UN General Assembly .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

How a 3-Minute Film Is Making a Long-Term Difference on Climate Change | Lyn Davis Lear

This is the story of how a three-minute film watched by over 120 world leaders at the United Nations this morning was produced by a newly empty nested mother of three who had never produced a minute of film before.It began 26 years ago when my friend, Cindy Horn, and I were pregnant with our first born and concerned about what the scientific community was telling us about the man-made threat to the planet that was soon to welcome our innocent babies.Our concern soon translated into the start of the Environmental Media Association, whose mission was to get writers, producers and directors to include environmental issues into the content of their stories. We are proud of founding and nurturing EMA, with our husbands, over so many years and of the leadership, now led by President Debbie Levin that made it so successful.Three years ago, my husband and I had Bill McKibben to our home. I had known Bill, the founder of 350.org, for years. Bill was just starting to tour colleges and universities to inform students about the serious nature of the climate crisis and its impact on their future.I will never forget our home being filled to the brim that day with electric conversation. This was a turning point in my life. Of course, I knew our climate problems were serious, but like most, I chose to keep from acknowledging the degree of the crisis. We gave a lot of money every year to different environmental causes — we had even founded an NGO. However, once that “ah ha” moment comes and you get how critical this crisis is, you cant turn back.This was the most exciting time to be alive, but also the most frightening. Every week there seemed to be new evidence of global warming from methane ice melting in Siberia, to new irreversible glacier melting in Antarctica. The situation seemed so dire. The media wouldnt pay attention to the issue, and no one seemed to care about climate change. Even the movement seemed depressed.But then, a little over a year ago, there seemed to be a sea change in the air. It was as though everything lightened up. Everyone in our movement, including Al Gore, felt a tipping point had begun. Solar, wind and organic products were becoming less expensive. We had reasons to feel optimistic. Even as extreme weather events began to worsen, we felt there was a way forward.

via How a 3-Minute Film Is Making a Long-Term Difference on Climate Change | Lyn Davis Lear.

Irreversible Damage Seen From Climate Change in UN Leak – Bloomberg

Humans risk causing irreversible and widespread damage to the planet unless there’s faster action to limit the fossil fuel emissions blamed for climate change, according to a leaked draft United Nations report.Global warming already is affecting “all continents and across the oceans,” and further pollution from heat-trapping gases will raise the likelihood of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” according to the document obtained by Bloomberg.“Without additional mitigation, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally,” the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in the draft.

via Irreversible Damage Seen From Climate Change in UN Leak – Bloomberg.