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Dalai Lama calls for reduced fossil fuel use, more tree planting in Earth Day message

By Ashley Williams
1/5
Dalai Lama calls for reduced fossil fuel use, more tree planting in Earth Day message
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." File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo

April 22 (UPI) -- The Dalai Lama called for reduced fossil fuel use in favor of renewable energy sources across the globe in his climate crisis-focused Earth Day message on Friday.

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

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"As human beings our marvelous 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 to his official website.

The Dalai Lama went on to push for more inner value-encompassing holistic education that takes into consideration other people's wellbeing.

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"We have to put the global interest first," he said, calling the world "heavily interdependent."

He pointed toward wind and solar power as alternatives to fossil fuels, and asked for better protection of the environment, the planting of more trees and closer watch on deforestation.

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

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

The Dalai Lama said in his message that in his lifetime, he's seen a decline in snowfall in his native country of Tibet and Dharamsala, India, where he lives.

"Some scientists have told me that there is a risk of places like Tibet eventually becoming deserts," he wrote. "That is why I am committed to speaking out for the protection of Tibet's fragile environment."

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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 Seattle speech will outline his administration's measures for ramping up environmental protections and help fight climate change on the 52nd Earth Day.

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