Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Experts say climate threat could nullify help given to poorest nations

15/07/2010 - by UNDP

Speaking at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace panel discussion assessing progress on the poverty-reduction benchmarks known as the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, that world leaders adopted nearly a decade ago, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Senior Adviser Paul Ladd noted the need to promote climate change resilience.

"Significant additional finance is required ... and that needs to be underpinned by a division of responsibilities in a global climate bill," he said.

As the 10-year anniversary of the U.N. Millennium Summit approaches in September, leaders are preparing another major summit to assess the current state of global poverty reduction. So far, leaders acknowledge, they have made uneven progress in their goal of slashing poverty, disease, hunger and malnutrition in half by 2015.

But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has insisted that the current economic downturn not be used as an excuse to slow development, and last week, he named a high-profile committee including billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, CNN founder Ted Turner and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to drive a new poverty eradication agenda.

Meanwhile, several studies in the past years have pointed to the threat climate change could pose to development gains. A new report the UNDP released last month assessing what will be needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals points to rising temperatures as an added menace to everything from public health to food security.

Go here for the UNDP report.