Transcript of Archbishop Tutu’s remarks on climate change:
“The destruction of the earth’s environment is the human rights challenge of our time.
Over the 25 years that climate change has been on the world’s agenda Global emissions have risen unchecked while real world impacts have taken hold in earnest.
Time is running out.
We are already experiencing loss of life and livelihood due to intensified storms, shortage of fresh water, spread of disease, rising food prices, and the creation of climate refugees.
The most devastating effects are visited on the poor, those with no involvement in creating the problem. A deep injustice.
Just as we argued in the 1980s that those who conducted business with apartheid South Africa were aiding and abetting an immoral system, today we say nobody should profit from the rising temperatures, seas and human suffering caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow. For there will be no tomorrow.
We are on the cusp of a global transition to a new safe energy economy. We must support our leaders to make the correct, moral choices.
Freeze further exploration for new fossil sources. We cannot maintain a livable temperature and climate for humanity if we burn more than a fraction of the fossil fuels already discovered.
Hold those responsible for climate damages accountable. Change the profit incentive by demanding legal liability for unsustainable environmental practices.
Encourage governments to stop accepting funding from the fossil fuel industry that blocks action on climate change.
Divest from fossil fuels and invest in a clean energy future. Move your money out of the problem and into solutions.
There is a word we use in South Africa that describes human relationships: Ubuntu. It says: I am because you are. My success and my failures are bound up in yours. We are made for each other, part of one family, the human family, with one shared earth.
God bless you.”