Monday, November 10, 2008

My call for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights

On the 6th November in Belfast at the United Nations (UK and Northern Ireland) Climate Change Conference, I called upon the United Nations to implement a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights.

Our planet is in crisis, and the United Nations are uniquely placed to implement the necessary foundations to create a new world where prevention and protection stand hand in hand.


This planet we call Earth is no longer a place of honour. For too many years we have abused and despoiled it, taken wilfully without regard to the consequences. We have depleted fossil fuel reserves, we have created escalating emissions, we have polluted, poisoned, damaged, destroyed and caused the extinction of numerous species.

We now know that it is because of human activity that we have a planet out of balance. The evidence is conclusive: Climate Change, with it’s escalating greenhouse gases, is a symptom of our greedy consumption of planet Earth. It threatens the very life of all remaining species, plant forms, oceans and waterways as well as human life. James Hansen of NASA has called for us to reduce our emissions to 350 ppm - that is an amount that is now less than current levels (which stand at 385ppm). It is not merely a matter of reducing our emissions by 50%, 80%, 100% as soon as possible, but to evolve and encourage a benign world where we no longer cause damage, pollution and loss.

Climate Change is a symptom of the damage we, humans, have caused by our excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. We now know that such actions carry destructive consequences – indeed all actions carry consequences - some far more damaging than others. Equipped with the knowledge that the planet’s imbalance is caused by humankind’s actions, comes the duty to act now.


Our planet is however not beyond rescue. What is required is a seismic shift in our consciousness, not a mere reduction of our emissions. The seismic shift should give full recognition that we now owe a duty of care to our beautiful planet. No other planet in our solar system has such variety of species, species that we are losing at an unprecedented rate. Now it is time to provide protection to our planet.

Just as the humanitarian crisis of the Second World War gave birth to the swift implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years ago in 1948, so now we have a planetary crisis that needs to be addressed with equal urgency. Now is the time to call for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights.

This is my call to the United Nations to protect our world. My plea is for co-operation, not confrontation. It is your support that will provide the voice to make this happen. Please help us in our call to protect our one beautiful and fragile planet.


This is the beginning of a the campaign for global recognition that Trees Have Rights Too.

I shall give my speech again in London on the 18th November 2008 at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1, 6.30pm - 8.30pm.

The event is free, but RSVP is required: please email
For further details of the event, see: Events

The power for action lies in all our hands. If you support the call to the United Nations to act, please help spread the word and forward this to all you think may want to support it - and even those whom you think may not!

Trees Have Rights Too

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