Dalai Lama calls for reducing fossil fuel use and planting more trees in Earth Day message

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The Dalai Lama marked the 52nd Earth Day with a message saying that all creatures — humans, animals, birds and insects — want to live a “happy life” in their “collective existence.” Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | Photo license

April 22 (UPI) — The Dalai Lama called for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources across the world in his climate crisis-focused Earth Day message on Friday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said all creatures – humans, animals, birds and insects – want to live a “happy life” in their “collective existence”, The Hindu reported.

“As human beings, our wonderful brains provide us with remarkable opportunities to do good, but if we look at how the world is today, we should be able to do better,” the Tibetan leader said in the message posted on its official website.

The Dalai Lama has continued to push for a holistic education that is more focused on inner values ​​that takes into consideration the well-being of others.

“We must put the global interest first,” he said, calling the world “highly interdependent”.

He pointed to wind and solar power as alternatives to fossil fuels, and called for better environmental protection, planting more trees and closer monitoring of deforestation.

Deforestation and forest degradation are occurring at an alarming rate around the world, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Although deforestation has declined over the past 30 years, the organization estimates a loss of 420 million hectares of forest since 1990 due to conversion to other land uses.

The Dalai Lama said in his message that during his lifetime he had seen a drop in snowfall in his native Tibet and Dharamsala, India, where he lives.

“I have been told by some scientists that there is a risk that places like Tibet will end up becoming deserts,” he writes. “That’s why I pledge to advocate for the protection of Tibet’s fragile environment.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is expected to announce in his Earth Day message his goals for tackling the climate crisis across the United States on Friday afternoon.

Biden’s speech in Seattle will outline his administration’s steps to strengthen environmental protections and help fight climate change on the 52nd Earth Day.