Time is running out for turning global development into a sustainable direction, the Hungarian president said, opening an online forum of the UN’s Water and Climate Leaders’ Panel.
János Áder is on the 15-member panel comprising incumbent and former heads of state and government, ministers as well as leaders of international civil organisations and multinational companies.
“It is our common responsibility to act as soon as possible,” he said.
The Hungarian president called water the most important issue in the 21st century, noting that 80 percent of climate change hazards are related to water, including droughts, floods, the shrinking of glaciers and rising sea levels.
Water released in increased amounts from the soil into the air is immensely contributing to extreme weather, Áder said. He noted that the amount of water accessible per person has declined by half over the past forty years, with its level dropping below critical levels in 36 countries.
The president underlined the importance of seeking out regional and global solutions in addition to local ones.
“Adjusting to new conditions is as important as prevention,” and requires good decisions, he said.
Áder said the panel had been set up with a mission to help decision making with information, and set up a global monitoring system by 2030.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI