Angel Gurria on environmental sustainability and financial crisis

September 21, 2010

Angel Gurria

Fallout from the financial crisis is hampering efforts to prevent climate change, Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, told AlertNet in New York on Monday.

While some people are struggling financially, “the crisis is being used as an excuse by people who probably were never too convinced — or never really wanted to allocate resources to fighting climate change and to promote biodiversity,” he said.

“We have to educate people and get back the sense of urgency — or emergency.”

Gurria was participating in a six-person panel discussion at the American Museum of Natural History about biodiversity, ecosystems and climate change at a side event of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit.

One of the development goals under discussion this week by leaders at the U.N. aims to ensure environmental stability and reverse loss of environmental resources by integrating sustainable development into national policies, reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010 and halving the number of people living without safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Eight goals were established in 2000 to be achieved by 2015 intended to improve the standard of living for the world’s poor.

- AlertNet, Thomson Reuters Foundation, New York

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    "I am the communities editor for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London where I blog, micro blog, write stories, make videos, audio and work on the AlertNet and TrustLaw news websites. AlertNet is a humanitarian news website covering wars, conflict, natural disasters, food and health emergencies. TrustLaw is covers good governance and women's rights. I moved to the foundation in 2010 after two years with the Reuters UK website. Find me @jmollins or +Julie Mollins."
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