The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on nations to adopt a “zero carbon” agenda that would end “unregulated development” and promote “the development of a clean economy”.
The document, released Monday, lays out an “Agenda 21” that would see an end to “unrestrained growth” and “development of a cleaner economy”, and urges governments to “adopt policies that protect the health and well-being of the world’s population and the environment”.
The document also warns that “uncontrolled development and unregulated economic growth are both damaging to the environment, to people and to the planet”.
But the world has never seen an agenda as “urgent” as that which is now being pushed by the United Nations and others around the world, the BBC reports.
The WHO said it will “take actions” to tackle “the urgent global challenges of climate change and other environmental threats”, but it is “critical to avoid irreversible damage to the Earth’s ecosystems, human health and wellbeing”.
Among those who have signed onto the document are the World Health Organisation, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Parliament.
WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan said the document is “a historic step towards a world that is more sustainable, equitable and just”.
“This is an important step for a growing number of countries and countries around the globe who are now recognising the importance of ending unregulated development and the development of sustainable economic growth,” she said.
“As we seek to build a world in which all people, all countries and all regions are able to thrive and prosper, it is important to put in place policies that safeguard the health, well- being and planet that we all depend on.”
In a statement, the European Commission said the text “recognises that the need to protect the environment is a fundamental human right, which requires strong and coherent action, particularly in the developing world”.
It said that the draft agreement would “give all citizens the right to live in a clean environment without having to leave their homes”.
Chan said the agreement was “an important step in a long-term strategy to address climate change”.
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