Tutu's 89th birthday provides platform for peace and climate change campaigns
Messages of congratulation poured in last week as Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrated his 89th birthday.
Well-wishers included the Nelson Mandela Foundation who called him ‘a paragon of peace” while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described him as a “global icon of moral consistency.”
The president spoke of Tutu’s care for humanity and his wisdom and conviction in fighting for human rights.
It was therefore highly fitting that on that same day - Wednesday 9th October - the 10th annual Peace Lecture that bears the Tutu name should address the massive threat to humanity posed by climate change.
Three keynote speakers: Christiana Figueres, Vanessa Nakate and Ayakha Melithafa were stark in warnings of the gravity of the dangers we are facing.
The message was clear. Action is needed right now. The world must not allow the distractions of the current global health crisis to sideline the fight to slow and stem the horrors wreaked by climate change.
Figueres, who was executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, said: “We cannot deal with these crises individually and sequentially. We must address them in an integrated fashion.”
It was a message that Archbishop Tutu would fully endorse.