Environmental charities should spend less time complaining about global warming and more time coming up with workable solutions to the problem, the UN’s climate change chief spokesmanhas said.
NGOs have traditionally spent their time in opposition and must devote more of their efforts to being constructive, according to Janos Pasztor, the former WWF campaigner who is now UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s official climate change spokesman.
“There is a role for opposition and saying ‘no’ but there is a big difference being saying ‘no’ and saying ‘how we can make this work?’. We need the NGOs to constructively help us to create a new, sustainable, low-carbon world,” Mr Pasztor told The Independent.
Most scientists agree that the evidence for man-made climate change is overwhelming, meaning that the debate is moving on from whether global warming exists to how best to tackle the problem.
As such, the role of NGOs is evolving, Mr Pasztor suggests.
Mr Pasztor also said that climate change should be taken out of the“environmental box” and described in terms of its wider effects, such as dangers to global health.
Mr Pasztor will play a key role in crucial UN climate change talks in Paris in December – where world leaders have pledged to agree to limit global warming to 2C.
In his role at the UN, Mr Pasztor engages with NGOs, government leaders and industry on Mr Ki-moon’s behalf.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth, said: “I would completely agree that it is critical for environmental organisations to campaign for solutions.
“The problem is that as long as some companies and governments carry on proposing new airports and looking for yet more oil and gas, irrespective of the evidence, environmental groups will be forced to carry on opposing these crazy actions.”
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