Harrison Ford: Climate change is the greatest nemesis of the century


Harrison Ford: Climate change is the greatest nemesis of the century

"We are witnessing 7 million deaths annually as a result of air pollution alone," he said.


Kelly Clarke

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Published: Tue 12 Feb 2019, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Tue 12 Feb 2019, 1:54 PM

During the final day of the World Government Summit 2019 on Tuesday, Harrison Ford described climate change as the "greatest moral crisis of our time".
Speaking alongside Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment at the session titled: 'An Urgent Call to Action on Climate Change', Ford also made an indirect dig at US President, Donald Trump. 
"You would think that the world would feel compelled to take action by what the consensus of science tells us about the threat of climate change. But around the world elements of leadership, including in my home country (the US) - merely to preserve their stake in the status quo - deny or denigrate science."
They are on the wrong side of history, he said. "Sound science must guide us."
Describing climate change as the greatest nemesis of the century, Ford also shared some sobering statistics with the audience. 
"It is going to lead to an additional 250,000 deaths annually in the coming decades. Already, we are witnessing 7 million deaths annual as a result of air pollution alone." 
With the ocean warming "40 per cent faster than we anticipated", both Al Zeyoudi and Ford agreed that solutions must be global, and there's a need to better understand the complexities of the ocean.
"Nature doesn't need people. People need nature. The impact of our changing climate is impacting health;  malnutrition being a huge factor in that." 
Touching on the devastating impacts that climate change is having on human beings, Al Zeyoudi said the facts show that it is "not just about saving the environment, but people too, with things that can be avoided". 
"The UAE is making strides in mitigating these impacts and I believe the best way to expedite these efforts is to deliver innovation action through dialogues like this."
While for centuries oceans have been providing humanity with kindness, it is now under "grave pressure from fishing, pollution" among others. 
The coral reef provides a natural habitat for 25 per cent of marine life, he said, but by 2050, the Great Barrier Reef is expected to lose 90 per cent of its habitat. 
"This is no longer a question of if. Climate change is happening and it is only us that can put measures in place to reduce the impending risks to life on earth. We need to exercise damage control now." 
In the UAE, a desert country, Al Zeyoudi said the ocean has been a "mainstay for life and survival, from providing thriving livelihoods through pearl diving to water provision". And it's important to know that the slow pace of climate action is weakening oceans. 
"It is, and will, cause further loss to diversity, which in turn will threaten humanity. 600 million people in the world live near or rely on oceans for livelihood. Everyone in this room has an integral part to play in this battle to save it," Al Zeyoudi said.
 - kelly@khaleejtimes.com

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