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Peace Education

Green Economy Discussion in London

London, UK - Lawrence Bloom and Murad Qureshi AM discussed the alternatives facing London as a city and the world as a whole due to climate change. Lawrence Bloom, is the Chair of the United Nations Environment Programme and the former chairman, current Council Member, of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Urban Development, Davos. Murad Qureshi AM is the Chair of the Environment Committee of the Greater London Authority’s London Assembly.

There were a number of notable contributions from the audience including Nicky Gavron AM who, as the former Deputy Mayor, was leading the climate change response on behalf of London during the Ken Livingston Mayoral administration.

Murad Qureshi began by emphasising the role of big cities like London in working with environmental issues because 50 % of humanity lives in cities and towns. Nation states will meet in Copenhagen but there is a lot of capacity for cities to collaborate and make their own impetus. He acknowledged Nicky Gavron’s work with the C40 Cities. London made a goal of 60% reduction from 1990 levels by 2025. There is a localised green economy initiative possible through city level leadership. Transport and housing sectors can be handled locally. He added that a Plan B could be a city level agreement if the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit fails.

Lawrence Bloom said, "At first the Universal Peace Federation seems a strange convenor for this discussion but when I thought about the crisis facing us I felt this is an ideal venue for climate change discussion. Climate change is a subset of an unsustainable energy system. There is also a lack of sustainability in food, water and the economy. This is not a crisis of climate but of vision based on a lack of values. We in the west find esteem based on buying the newest car and happiness is based on Gross National Product. Correcting the climate will affect all levels. Hence the Universal Peace Federation is an ideal convenor for this discussion."

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