Dalai Lama Urges Government Action On Global Warming

December 7th 2008

Krakow, Poland, 7 December 2008 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama on Sunday appealed to governments to protect the environment against global warming as UN climate talks continued in Poland -- and said even his native Tibet was threatened.

"I do have some serious concerns as a result of learning from specialists (that) unless we pay sufficient attention and (adopt) sufficient method of protection... global warming is really, really very serious," the Tibetan spiritual leader said.

Governments had to pay sufficient attention to the problem and where necessary make the appropriate steps to protect the environment even if that involved some economic sacrifices, he told reporters in the city of Krakow.

In the Tibetan plateau area "warming is higher than global rate so if present trend will go continuously without serious protection some of these major rivers covering Asia will dry... billions of human beings for life depend very much on these rivers."

UN climate scientists have warned that any global temperature rise beyond a two degree threshold could unleash devastating consequences across the globe.

They have also called for global emissions to peak before 2020 and by 2050 to be cut by 80 percent compared to 1990 levels.

The December 1-12 conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- attended by 10,000 delegates from 192 countries -- in Poznan, western Poland, is aimed at advancing towards a new global pact.

The idea is to cut carbon emissions that trap the Sun's heat and boost help to poorer, vulnerable countries.

Turning his attention to the global economic crisis the Dalai Lama said Sunday it would "seriously impact China and also India."

India as a democratic country might find it easier to handle such problems, he added.

"But for a totalitarian, closed society (China) this is a new experience -- I don't know (how it will cope), we will see," he added.


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