Winners of Blue Planet Prize call on world leaders to take action on environmental threats

Staff Report

A group of scientists expressed concern on Thursday that world leaders are not on the same page about the urgency to counteract global threats to environment, and called on all governments to take action.

The three scientists, winners of The Blue Planet prize, spoke during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Thursday.

“There is a situation in the U.S. where the president … doesn’t believe in climate change,” said winner Robert Watson, the chief scientific adviser for the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Donald Trump, he said, “is not alone. The Australian prime minister also doesn’t believe in climate change. Therefore, we need others to take the lead. Cities, business leaders and states.”

The winners of the prize released a joint statement expressing concern over environmental issues, calling for imminent action.

The other winners are Jane Lubchenco, an environmental scientist and marine ecologist based at Oregon State University, and Thomas Lovejoy, a professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University.

The annual Blue Planet Prize, organized by the Asahi Glass Foundation and established in 1992, is typically given to two people for their research or scientific work in solving environmental problems.

“There is no doubt that the Earth’s environment is at a crossroads and that the time for action is now,” the joint statement said. “We know that policies and technologies exist to safeguard the environment that are cost effective and socially acceptable, but the question is whether there is the public and political will to address them.”