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The MDGs: What does climate change have to do with it?

Andrew Steer's picture

Here in New York this week, world leaders have their plates full. Five years to go, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is mixed. Accelerated action is needed urgently. So with this full agenda, why are there so many meetings this week on climate change? Because climate change is about poverty reduction. Developing countries will bear three-quarters of the negative impact of changing weather patterns, water shortages, and rising sea levels, and they are the least equipped to deal with them. Hard won gains in poverty reduction are at serious risk. This is no longer just tomorrow's problem. Impacts are being felt today. 

 

There is an old-fashioned view that rich countries can afford to think about climate change but developing countries have more urgent short-term needs. This is well and truly debunked by the evidence of where developing countries are putting their money. Four out of five countries we work with, list climate change among the top priorities for their anti-poverty plans. In the past twelve months, nearly 90% of Country Assistance Strategies requested by developing countries, and approved by the World Bank’s Board, listed climate change as one of the major pillars for World Bank support.

 

Consequently, as of today, we are actively engaged with 100 countries, supporting their efforts on adaptation and mitigation. Last week, for example, the World Bank launched a US$6.1 billion strategy to support anti-poverty efforts in Bangladesh through 2014, and reducing vulnerability to climate change is one of the four pillars of the strategy.

  

This explains why another old-fashioned view also needs to be sent to the dustbin. Sometimes we hear the question: why is the World Bank engaged in climate change? I have even heard people say "the World Bank should focus on its core job of poverty reduction. Leave climate change to others". This misses the sad reality that in this new Millennium it would be simply impossible to remain the premier global institution devoted to a world free from poverty without making climate change a core part of our work.

 

This is why we believe that a strong, fair global deal on climate change is essential if the full promise on the MDGs is to be met. And we are working hard with our partner countries towards this end. But we're not waiting for it. Neither are the countries we serve.  

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on
My view: The world would be a better place if the climate was favourable. Their would be NO poverty in the first place.

Global warming hysteria, whose gravy train INGOs and environmental organizations jumped into for the last decade or so, has run its course. Climate alarmism is dying a slow and painful death. Here are some telltale signs that it is in its deathbed, grasping for its last breath: 1. Re-branding exercises We live in this age of advertisement where if something isn’t working, the first remedy is often to change the offending name. Repeated attempts to re-brand global warming are one of these. Global warming first metamorphosed as “climate change”. This worked for some years but such was the gross misuse and abuse of the term that the public soon developed allergic to this term too and thus the desperate search for an alternative term in the last few months. Some alternatives recently floated are “climate weirdness” and “climate disruption “, the last coined by President Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren. Read more: http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.com/2010/09/for-climate-justice-activists-living-in.html It’s not only sceptics that have raised our flags of victory. George Monbiot, the journalist czar of global warming, of the Guardian, just conceded defeat in his latest blog “Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted. But now it’s dead” Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/20/climate-change-negotiations-failure

Submitted by Aguilar on
Just because a few people and many politicians don't understand a problem, does not mean the problem does not exist... Read the Monbiot article again and you may find out he is complaining about the failure of negotiations, not denying the nature of the problem, quite the contrary actually... But if in doubt, ask the Pakistanis, the Costa Ricans, the Moscovites or the Brazilians that have been suffering the effects of climate change the past season... they may give you a more eloquent argument.

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