Climate Change May Reverse Progress on Fighting Poverty

The Working Group on Climate Change and Development, a coalition of environmental and relief aid organizations, released a report last week stating that the onset of global warming threatens to undermine progress made in recent decades on lifting residents of many developing nations out of poverty.

“As the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC clearly indicates, ‘The impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor… within all countries,’” said R.K. Pachauri, director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute and chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “I urge governments, development and environmental organizations to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen.”

In the report, entitled "Up in Smoke," the coalition calls on industrialized nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 60-80 percent below 1990 levels. Meanwhile, the report authors call for low-lying communities threatened by rising sea levels as a result of climate change to be relocated, and for governments around the world to join together in conducting a global risk assessment of the likely costs of such adaptations, especially in poor countries.

The coalition includes ActionAid, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the New Economics Foundation.

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