Environmental Security and Sustainability

2012 Oct 29th

Gorbachev, Walesa discuss Europe’s ecological role at Green Cross Poland panel

Green Cross International Founding President Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa, Chairman of Green Cross Poland, took part in a debate organized by Green Cross Poland on 28 September 2012 during the European Forum for New Ideas (ENFI) held in Sopot, Poland.

Together with former chancellor of Germany, Hans Dietrich Genscher, and Professor Robert Costanza from Portland State University, they discussed “Europe’s moral and economic dilemmas in light of the global climate challenge.” The discussion was led by Dominika Kulczyk-Lubomirska, Vice-President and founder of Green Cross Poland, and Michal Kobosko, editor-in-chief of the weekly Polish publication, “Wprost”.

One of the main subjects of this year’s Forum was the ecology of human beings. During the Green Cross Poland panel, lecturers were trying to answer the question: “How much vision and foresight is being invested in the current European climate policy?"

President Gorbachev underlined that "we are living in a global world, but we still haven’t learnt how to manage it in a responsible way. Nothing has changed since (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) Rio+20. We left disappointed.”

During the discussion, the following matters were discussed: "green” competition, coherent climate policy and ecological innovation.

In the context of innovation, panelists focused on the potential that green economy can carry. Presentations dealt with the economic crisis, the dynamic growth of world’s population (in the last 40 years population doubled from 3.5 billion to 7 billion), the polarization of poverty, rampant consumption and increase in the use of fossil fuels and resources (in the European Union, each person consumes on average 16 tons of resources per year, of which 6 tons becomes waste).

The city of Sopot – thanks to EFNI – for the second time became the world’s centre of discussion on the economic, social and ecological roles modern Europe should play. The uniqueness of this international meeting was in creating the opportunity for a dialogue between representatives of different backgrounds: culture, business, politics and science.

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