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E-M:/ U.N. chief praises Dow Chemical

Enviro-Mich message from abby@michiganlcv.org

In the Detroit News today - it would be great to get some "letters to the
editor" in on this!  The U.N. also praised Nestle and Coca-Cola for their

Abby Rubley
Michigan LCV.

U.N. chief praises Dow Chemical for being part of global water solution
Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world
on Thursday to put the looming crisis over water shortages at the top of
the global agenda this year and take action to prevent conflicts over
scarce supplies.

He reminded business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum
that the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan was touched off by drought
-- and he said shortages of water contribute to poverty and social
hardship in Somalia, Chad, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Nigeria,
Sri Lanka, Haiti, Colombia and Kazakhstan.

"Too often, where we need water we find guns instead," Ban said.
"Population growth will make the problem worse. So will climate change. As
the global economy grows, so will its thirst. Many more conflicts lie just
over the horizon."

He said a recent report identified 46 countries with 2.7 billion people
where climate change and water-related crises create "a high risk of
violent conflict" and a further 56 countries, with 1.2 billion people "are
at high risk of violent conflict." The report was by International Alert,
an independent peacebuilding organization based in London.

Ban told the VIP audience that he spent 2007 "banging my drum on climate
change," an issue the Forum also had as one of its main themes last year.
He welcomed the focus on water this year saying the session should be
named: "Water is running out."

"We need to adapt to this reality, just as we do to climate change," he
said. "There is still enough water for all of us -- but only so long as we
can keep it clean, use it more wisely, and share it fairly."

Ban said he will invite world leaders to "a critical high-level meeting"
in September to focus on meeting U.N. development goals -- including
cutting by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water
by 2015 -- particularly in Africa.

Ban's call for global action on water got strong support from several top
business executives.

"Water is today's issue," said Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow
Chemical Co., the world's second largest chemical company. "It is the oil
of this century, not a question."

E. Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., said "this is an
issue which ranks next to climate change. ... However, water has got lost
as part of the climate change debate."

Isdell urged the world to "raise the issue of water to the level that we
have managed to raise the issue of climate change."

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and CEO of Nestle SA, the world's biggest
food and drink company, said "time is still on our side but time is
running out, just like water is running out."

Ban urged top business executives to join a U.N. project to help poor
people gain access to clean water -- and he praised Coca-Cola, Dow
Chemical and Nestle for their programs and their efforts to be part of the
water solution.

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