Economist Jeffrey Sachs, Nobel Prize winner for his work on economic development, praises Cyprus for its role in developing the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Cyprus plays a role in the effort for sustainable development,” the 65-year old American professor, whose advice was critical in the transformation of the nations of Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall fell, told the Cyprus News Agency on Friday.
“President Anastasiadis,” he says, “has stated that it is a priority for the region. He has taken the initiative to ensure that the political leaders in the region are aware of the dangers and will join forces. find solutions and that can make a big difference,” he commented.
“We are in the middle of a political battle. Just as controlling the pandemic has to do with politics, so does climate change,” Sachs warned.
“Leadership plays a big role,” he continued. “When there is a lack of leadership or there are disastrous leaders like we have in the US right now you end up with a ruined economy, you end up with a huge death toll from a pandemic, you end up with street riots,” he said.
The political leadership in Cyprus, must be careful. The priority for Cyprus is sustainable development and the fight against climate change. I think the whole Mediterranean region should be able to say ‘no, we will not develop more hydrocarbons, we will focus on the sun.”
“I know that Cyprus has a lot of sunshine, and some of the best sunshine in the world, so this is a great opportunity to develop renewable energy.
Effective leadership is also the key to controlling the novel coronavirus crisis, Sachs points out. “The first lesson is that pandemic can be brought under control with good leadership and effective public health systems. Although this is a terrible emergency, it can be overcome.”
Sachs again praises Cyprus: “Fortunately, Cyprus and Greece have done better than other regions in Europe,” he added. “I hope that this will continue.”
“I believe that the pandemic is driving fundamental transformations. We are really moving dramatically towards a digital economy in just weeks, and everyone understands that we are not going to go back to how things used to be, he notes.
Asked to say a few words about his new book, Ages of Globalization, he said:
“The idea is to understand the nature of our interconnected world by looking at the history of this interconnection from the beginning. The book deals with the seven stages of globalization beginning 70,000 years ago with the dispersal of the population from Africa, the birth of agriculture, the equestrian era, the classical era, the era of the discoveries of sea routes from Europe to America and Asia and the industrial age. Finally, the book deals with the present seventh and digital age, which, according to Professor Sachs, is at a crossroads, having come so far so fast.”
Professor Sachs also explains that his book deals with three transformations. “The first is technological transformation with all that entails,” he said. “The second is geopolitical transformation as we move towards a multipolar world with a much stronger and more important Asian contribution and, of course, China playing a huge role.” And a third, he adds, “is that we are going through what geologists call the Anthropocene Age, which means the time when human activity is changing the natural system of the planet so dramatically that we have put ourselves in great danger.” We live in a very complicated time of change, he says.