Harrison Ford at WGS
Harrison Ford, Celebrity and Philanthropist speaking at a session "An Urgent Call to Action on Climate Change" on the final day of World Government Summit 2019 in Dubai on Tuesday 12 February 2019 Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The greatest moral crisis facing the world right now is climate change.

In a Tuesday session during the World Government Summit, actor and philanthropist Harrison Ford said: “Humans are animals. We are animals with unique attributes and big brains. However, we are the only species whose behaviour can destroy the planet. We are not above Nature.”

He emphasised on how Nature has provided humans with a healthy intact natural systems. He added: “All these free services of Nature are threatened by what we are doing to the planet through climate change.”

He said that human beings have finally realised the importance of protecting the environment and have come a long way in protecting it, but it was not enough: “We have created national parks to help people connect with Nature, we have developed good science and made good progress, we have done a lot in protecting biodiversity but we need to do much, much more.”

He explained how oceans capture carbon and trap heat to control global temperatures: “The oceans, plankton, see grass bed, coral reefs catch carbon. The mangroves especially, catch 10 times more carbon than tropical forests. Just by increasing mangroves we can reduce the carbon in the atmosphere by 6 per cent.

“Did you know that 75 per cent of biggest cities in the world are on the coast. This is causing oceans to heat up more. Some small island nations will cease to exist. Where will their people go?”

WGS 2019

Ford reiterated: “Oceans are warming 40 per cent faster. The problem is global, the solution must be global.”

Talking about solutions, he mentioned: “Marine protected areas are part of the solution, good fisheries management and the protection and restoration of mangroves as done in the UAE, and corals are all steps in the right direction.”

“All of us whether rich or poor, powerful or powerless will suffer the effects of ecosystem destruction. I feel, climate change is the biggest moral crisis that our planet is facing, because, those least responsible will suffer the most.

“The earth and the seas are the legacy we leave our children. Even 10 years may be too late. Let’s make ourselves responsible.

“If we are to survive on this planet, for our security future and climate, we need nature now more than ever. Nature doesn’t need people, people need nature.

“Let’s roll up our sleeves and get this thing done.”