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Lankan scientist calls for ‘Millennium Consumption Goals’ for rich nations

(UKLT – 25/01) Nobel Peace Prize-winning Sri Lankan scientist Mohan Munasinghe has called for the drafting of a list of “Millennium Consumption Goals” to force rich countries to curb their climate-damaging consumption habits; similar to the Millennium Development Goals created to help developing countries out of poverty.

 

Professor Munasinghe, vice chairman of the Geneva-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said, “We now have Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for the poor. We should extend that to the rich and make sure they consume in a more sustainable manner,” because, he added, “85% of all consumption in the world is done by the top 20% of the world’s rich”.

 

He also pointed to the recent flooding in Queensland as well as the unprecedented cold snap in Colombo, Sri Lanka as irrevocable evidence of climate change affecting weather patterns and stressed that the world needed to do more to reduce the vulnerability of the poor to the effects of climate change.

 

“Carbon emissions in Sri Lanka for example, are extremely low,” said Professor Munasinghe. “While we may need to reduce it in the future, that’s not the main issue. Our main problem is reducing vulnerability as it affects the poor most. It is very unfair, because it is the CO2 emissions of the rich countries which have caused the problem.”

 

Professor Munasinghe and the IPCC, along with former US Vice President Al Gore, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for their work highlighting the effects of climate change.

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