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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Up in Smoke: new report on global warming
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¬†The Working Group on Climate Change and Development - a coalition that includes Columban Justice and Peace,Christian Aid and Operation Noah - warns in a new report that global warming threatens to reverse human progress and make the international targets on halving global poverty by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals, unattainable. This summer has been marred by the havoc wrought across the Caribbean by the hurricanes Jeanne and Ivan, and the worst flooding in recent years in Bangladesh. In a world in which global warming is already happening, such severe weather events are likely to be more frequent, and extreme. Now, leading environment and development charities have come together for the first time to highlight their joint concern about the serious impact that global warming is already having on some of the world's poorest communities. Pledging to play their part in trying to halt dangerous climate change and to help bring about a global solution that is fair and rooted in human equality, the coalition called on the international community to take urgent action to introduce: ∑ A global risk assessment of the likely costs of adaptation to climate change in poor countries. ∑ Cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases by industrialised countries in the order of 60 - 80% (relative to 1990 levels) by the middle of this century, far beyond the targets of the Kyoto Protocol. This is vital to stop climate change running out of control - for example by global average temperatures rising beyond 2įC above pre-industrial levels. ∑ Commensurate new funds and other resources made available by industrialised countries for poor country adaptation, bearing in mind that rich country subsidies to their domestic fossil fuel industries stood at $73 billion per year in the late 1990s. ∑ Effective and efficient arrangements to respond to the increasing burden of climate-related disaster relief. ∑ Development models based on risk reduction and incorporating community-driven coping strategies in adaptation and disaster preparedness ∑ Small-scale renewable energy projects promoted by governments and community groups which can help to both tackle poverty and reduce climate change if they are replicated and scaled-up. This will require political commitment and new funds from governments in all countries, and a major shift in priorities by the World Bank and other development bodies. ∑ Coordinated plans, from local to international levels, for relocating threatened communities with appropriate political, legal and financial resources. Prime Minister Tony Blair has signalled that he will use the UK presidency of the G8 in 2005 to bring climate change and Africa to the top of the international political agenda. Welcoming this commitment, the coalition says that an either/or approach to climate change and poverty reduction is not an option; the world must face up to the inseparable challenges of poverty and a rapidly warming global climate. Full copies of the report can be obtained from Ruth Potts on 020 7820 6357, or ruth.potts@neweconomics.org
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