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Climate Action

Although scientists have warned for decades of an impending climate crisis, government action has been insufficient to keep disaster at bay. As the crisis has intensified, it has been young people and civil society that have stepped up to lead the effort to save our planet from environmental catastrophe. The next several years will be key in deciding the future of humanity and the planet. Global cooperation is essential, and it is vital that we find ways to amplify the voices of youth and of civil society actors. In his 2022 peace proposal, Daisaku Ikeda puts forward a number of concrete steps that can be taken toward this end.


Concrete efforts centered on the United Nations to overcome the climate crisis from the 2022 Peace Proposal:

  • With every passing year, the damage caused by extreme weather events has intensified and become more widespread. During COP26, the US and China agreed to strengthen measures for cooperation on climate action, and I strongly urge Japan and China to reach a similar agreement.
  • I would also like to call for strengthening the framework of partnership between the UN and civil society and propose the establishment of a venue within the UN where civil society, led by youth, can freely discuss the comprehensive protection of the “global commons,” the resources we all require in order to survive and flourish. A UN youth council would be a perfect vehicle for this.
  • In 2001, a Joint Liaison Group was set up to enhance cooperation in the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification. I believe it is time to expand this alliance to include and enlist the support of civil society. I am convinced that this would open new paths toward successfully addressing climate change.

More on Daisaku Ikeda’s engagement for sustainability and climate action:

Daisaku Ikeda reflects on the life of the late Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai and how simple actions make a difference.

Quotations on the theme of climate change and the environment from Daisaku Ikeda’s writings and speeches

Climate change is more than an environmental issue in the conventionally understood sense: It represents a threat to all people living on Earth, both now and in future generations. It is, like nuclear weapons, a fundamental challenge on which the fate of humankind hinges.—2020 Peace Proposal

When discussing the impacts of climate change, there is a tendency to focus on the scale of economic loss or other quantifiable indicators. But I think it is important that we attend to the actual suffering of the many individuals that such macroeconomic indices might obscure, and make this central to our efforts to come together in search of solutions. —2020 Peace Proposal

Every single thing in existence is worthy of supreme reverence. . . . Nature is not something for human beings to exploit as they see fit, solely for their own interests. Both nature and humanity are part of the life of the universe. Nature and humanity are one. To destroy the natural world is to destroy human life.—The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Vol. I

We are dependent on the Earth, not the other way around. In our arrogance, we have flagrantly overlooked this. . . .The essential teaching of Buddhism is that the life of the Buddha resides in every plant and tree, even in the smallest dust mote: it is a philosophy of the utmost reverence for life.—Discussions on Youth

Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother. There is no crime worse than harming one’s mother.—Discussions on Youth

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