UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon has launched an astonishing attack on the current economic system of Western-style capitalsim, saying that it was dangerous and outdated in the light of global warming, and calling for a new economic paradigm.
Recent reports have noted that Ban-Ki Moon has said he will take a hands-off approach to global warming, and many have interpreted this to mean that he will leave it to the scientists and national Governments to decide.
But his latest comments, reported in The Guardian, make it clear that instead Ban-Ki Moon is switching from a narrow focus on global warming to a much wider spectrum attack on the current Western style of capitalism generally, on the grounds that it is not environmentally sustainable. The Guardian reports:
The world’s current economic model is an environmental “global suicide pact” that will result in disaster if it isn’t reformed, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, warned today.
Ban said that political and business leaders need to embrace economic innovation in order to save the planet.
“We need a revolution,” he told a panel at the World Economic Forum inDavos, Switzerland, on how best to make the global economy sustainable. “Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete.”
He called the current economic model a recipe for “national disaster” and said: “We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change, time to ensure sustainable … growth.” The Guardian revealed yesterday that Ban is ending his hands-on efforts to reach a global climate deal through UN negotiations, and move to focus on a broader sustainability agenda.
The Indonesian President condemned suggestions that his nation and other under-developed countries should stop developing and stay where they are to help protect the environment. Bill Gates, a father of three children, defended this, and suggested that limiting the number of children would be a better way to limit carbon emissions:
This view was partly shared by Gates, who said that “you cannot have a just world by telling people to use less energy than the average European”. One way to cap the world’s consumption and carbon emissions would be to invest in family planning said Gates, who has invested much of his fortune in health projects in the developing world.
The panel at which Ban-Ki Moon made his attack on capitalism was chaired by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times who said he hoped that by next year he would start to see some action on what was being discussed.