The world cannot adapt its way out of the climate crisis, and counting on adaptation to limit the damage is no substitute for urgently cutting greenhouse gases.
For 50 years since the very first environmental conference, governments on planet earth have failed to act on climate change. There can not be any more excuses.
Until we stop pollution at source, no amount of offsetting, carbon crediting or carbon capture and storage will solve the problem.
The Stockholm Conference in 1972 was initiated by Sweden and was the first environmental conference within the framework of the UN. It had a major impact on the creation of global tools for environmental work.
From the mid-1960s, environmental issues played a prominent role in Olof Palme’s political work, speaking at the first United Nations major environmental conference in 1972 held in Stockholm, is a chilling reminder that not much has happened from a political perspective for over 50 years.
At the Stockholm conference in 1972, the UN’s environmental body UNEP was formed, and 5 June became World Environment Day. The Stockholm Declaration, the document that the participants agreed on, laid the foundation for international environmental law: the principle that countries must not act in such a way that the environment of other countries is destroyed.
Who was Palme: Olof Palme was Sweden’s Prime Minister 1969–1976 and from 1982 until his death in 1986 and led Sweden’s Social Democratic Workers’ Party from 1969 until his death.
Now another meeting is being held, Stockholm + 50, to commemorate the 50 years that have passed since the original. We are in a hurry – the rich countries of the world must act immediately. That was Olof Palme’s message at the world’s first UN environment conference in Stockholm in 1972.
In a speech in Nyköping on 7 May 1985, Olof Palme stated: “Environmental issues, together with the issue of peace and the fight against unemployment, are the most important political issue of the future right now.
Since then, irreversible changes have taken place, political indecisiveness is higher than ever on climate change, and the urgency is not yet there.
We have to act now, we must protect the carbon emission around our earth. We must stop the pollution of the world’s oceans. We must stop the devastation of primeval forests and halt desertification. And we must have a stricter international agreement in our efforts to reduce air pollution.
Since then, irreversible changes have taken place and the urgency is many times greater.