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Dalai Lama calls on COP 26 for action to address climate change issue

Dalai Lama stated that the Tibetan plateau, the largest reservoir of snow and ice outside the North and the South Poles, had often been called ‘the Third Pole’.

SNS | Shimla |

Nobel laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Sunday called on the leaders participating in United Nations’ COP 26 climate conference that will be taking place in Glasgow, Scotland to address the climate emergency the world is facing today.

In a message to COP 26 leaders, Dalai Lama said global warming is an urgent reality. “None of us is able to change the past but we are all in a position to contribute to a better future. Indeed, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the more than seven billion human beings alive today to ensure that all of us can continue to live in peace and safety.

With hope and determination, we must take care of both our own lives and those of all our neighbours. Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is, but what’s more, it is our only home. We must protect it not only for ourselves, but also for future generations, and for the countless species with which we share the planet,” he added.

He stated that the Tibetan plateau, the largest reservoir of snow and ice outside the North and the South Poles, had often been called ‘the Third Pole’.

In addition, Tibet is the source of some of the world’s major rivers which include the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, the Indus, the Mekong, the Salween, the Yellow River, and the Yangtze.

These rivers are the source of life because they provide drinking water, irrigation for agriculture, and hydropower, for nearly two billion people across Asia, he said.

“The melting of Tibet’s numerous glaciers, the damming and diversion of rivers, and widespread deforestation exemplify how ecological neglect in one area can have consequences almost everywhere.

Today, we need to address the future not with prayers prompted by fear but by taking realistic action founded on scientific understanding.

We, human beings, are the only creatures with the power to destroy the earth but we are also the species with the greatest capacity to protect it. We must confront issues of climate change on a cooperative global level for everyone’s benefit. But we must also do what we can on a personal level,” he stated.

He further stated that he was encouraged to see that the younger generations were demanding concrete action on climate change which gives some hope for the future. The efforts of young activists such as Greta Thunberg to raise awareness on the need to listen to science and act accordingly is crucial as their stance is realistic and we must encourage them.

He added it is imperative that we act in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation in order to limit its consequences while urging the leaders to take collective action to address this emergency and set a timetable for change.