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Food for Thought UNFCCC 2009, Tomorrow is Today

Felix Dodds Executive Director Stakeholder Forum
17th October 2009, at UNFCCC in Outreach

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." — Albert Einstein. As we draw towards the finish of the largest environmental gathering since the Johannesburg Earth Summit it is clear our world leaders have not yet been able to address the seriousness of what faces us. It is increasingly becoming obvious to many that they wasted the nearly twenty years since the Rio Earth Summit when action could have been made on a number of fronts and could have ensured that help was made available to developing countries through funding and technology transfer to move to a more  sustainable path. The lack of implementation of both the Rio and Johannesburg agreement means we are now seeing a emerging nexus between environment and security.


Launched on the 4th of December the book Climate Change and Insecurity edited by Andrew Higham, Richard Sherman and myself: tries to outline the challenges that we are now starting to

face and some ways to address those challenges. The book has an impressive list of contributors including Prof Stern, Achim Steiner, Nnimmo Bassey, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, Jacques Diouf, Ahmed Djoghlaf, former German Minister Sigmar Gabriel, South African Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk and many more.


The book looks at: Energy Insecurity: Challenges to future energy stability, Climate Insecurity: A challenge to peace, security and development and Governing Climate and Energy Instability:

Avenues for preventative diplomacy. We are the first generation who realize that our personal actions impact upon but that can also contribute to the sustainability of our planet. We have perhaps a short time: 10-20 years to redirect the development model that has dominated this period of our lives on this planet. We know it is destroying options for future generations. On this generation falls the burden of proving to the world that we really mean it, when we say all people are created free and equal and should benefit from the fruits of this planet, to ensure that we live in a sustainable way.


We might all wish for an easier challenge, a more tranquil world but that isn’t our lot. If we are to create a sustainable world for all of the people living and future generations to come, then we must change now not in 10–20 years.


As Maurice Strong has said:

'We must treat climate as a security issue, the most important threat to global security we will ever face. Energy is at the heart of this transition. Climate security and energy security are two sides of the same coin: one cannot be achieved without the other.” He went on to say. “This book is an important

contribution to exploring this vital part of the environmental security agenda.'

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