message to the world's polluters and environmental sceptics in the UK
develop in a prosperous and sustainable way globally. Otherwise there
may not be a world worth living in.'
Launching a groundbreaking global environmental report - GEO 3 - from
the UN's Environment Programme (UNEP) with UNEP's executive director
Klaus Toepfer, Mrs Beckett said tough action is needed now to avoid
potential environmental disaster worldwide in the 2030s.
The World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in early
September, to fight world poverty, and environmental degradation on
land, in the atmosphere and in the oceans would be a pivotal start.
Scientists for UNEP in today's report looked back to politicians'
promises made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, what has been achieved
since and what the world may look like in 2030.
Mrs Beckett said:
'Today I am deeply honoured that my department and I have been
invited to be involved in the global launch of UNEP's 3rd Global
Environmental Outlook report. I warmly congratulate Klaus Topfer and
his team on their achievement, which marks a critical stage in the
run-up to Johannesburg.
'This is a publication which I believe will play a pivotal role in
thinking about sustainable development at WSSD and beyond. This
report shows how far the world has come since the Rio Earth Summit
ten years ago - and points the way towards a more sustainable future.
'GEO 3 breaks new ground in drawing on scenario analysis to explore
the environmental outlooks - markets first, policy first, security
first and sustainability first. I think many would accept it should
be sustainability first, but I commend the use of cutting edge
science and many years of research that went into the findings of
today's report - which also seeks to explore global solutions to
Mrs Beckett went on to underline the need for the UK and the global
community to act now to reverse the environmental degradation,
particularly in developing countries, which the report details. The
perceived breakdown in the 2030s of biodiversity, the threat to
endangered species and their habitats should be combated. In a
civilised world, everyone has a right to clean, fresh water.
Mrs Beckett added:
'This report brings these issues into sharp focus. It is an
unequivocal reminder. The disintegration of the environmental pillar
of sustainable development will lead to the inevitable collapse of
the others. So at Johannesburg, environment objectives need to placed
squarely at the heart of sustainable development.
'It is absolutely imperative that we use the final prepcom to WSSD,
beginning in Indonesia this week to make real progress in the run-up
to Johannesburg on key issues - such as water, energy, and food
security for developing countries.
'We need stakeholders to commit themselves to practical action - to a
genuine investment of energy and resources - so we can make tangible
progress towards our shared objectives. The rhetoric must become
reality. History will see it as a tragic lost opportunity if we fail
to meet this challenge.'