Time is running out for turning global development into a sustainable direction, the Hungarian president said, opening an online forum of the UN’s Water and Climate Leaders Panel. János Áder is on the 15-member panel comprising incumbent and former heads of state and government, ministers as well as leaders of international civil organisations and multinational companies. “It is our common responsibility to act as soon as possible,” he said.
The Hungarian president called water the most important issue in the 21st century, noting that 80% of climate change hazards are related to water, including droughts, floods, the shrinking of glaciers and rising sea levels. Water released in increased amounts from the soil into the air is immensely contributing to extreme weather, Áder said. He noted that the amount of water accessible per person has declined by half over the past forty years, with its level dropping below critical levels in 36 countries.