RIGA - In his address at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Latvian President Egils Levits said that technologies have the potential to save the planet.
''The climate, too, is global. Climate change must be tackled at international, state and individual levels. We must collaborate across borders to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
Empowerment of youth can play an important role in climate action, as we recently witnessed in the Youth Climate summit,'' the president said.
''Likewise, technologies have a leading role in healing our planet. Innovations together with computing power and connectivity allow us to become more efficient. I am proud that Latvian IT companies are willing to take up the challenge and have joined the Green Pledge launched by our neighbors Estonia,'' he said.
''Latvia is committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement. In Latvia we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by almost 60 % compared to 1990 levels but we understand that it is not enough, and therefore we support climate neutrality as a goal for the future. We are currently working on an ambitious low carbon development strategy that would allow Latvia to reach climate neutrality by 2050,'' Levits emphasized.
He said that earlier this year the Government of Latvia approved the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan for 2030. It sets out concrete actions on adaptation to be implemented in the nearest future.
''According to Latvia’s experience, one of the substantial solutions to mitigate climate change is sustainable forest management, which provides continuous carbon sinks and sustainable forest products that can substitute fossil-based materials, thus reducing emissions. Forest coverage in Latvia has increased almost twice since the first half of the last century. Latvia is committed to sustainable forest management for current and future generations,'' the president said.
''Meanwhile, our civil society, too, is making efforts – on World Cleanup Day, 21 September, trees were planted all around Latvia by individuals, young and old, as a contribution to a sustainable future. This builds on a long-standing volunteer tradition in my country to promote a clean environment,'' Levits emphasized.