Reply To: Climate change the defining challenge of our age

Martin W

UN Development Programme likewise expressing massive concerns re climate change.
Press release begins:

Brasilia, 27 November 2007—With governments preparing to gather in Bali,
Indonesia to discuss the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Development
Programme’s Human Development Report has warned that the world should focus on the
development impact of climate change that could bring unprecedented reversals in
poverty reduction, nutrition, health and education.
The report, Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a
divided world, provides a stark account of the threat posed by
global warming. It argues that the world is drifting towards a
“tipping point” that could lock the world’s poorest countries
and their poorest citizens in a downward spiral, leaving
hundreds of millions facing malnutrition, water scarcity,
ecological threats, and a loss of livelihoods.
“Ultimately, climate change is a threat to humanity as a whole.
But it is the poor, a constituency with no responsibility for the
ecological debt we are running up, who face the immediate and
most severe human costs,” commented UNDP Administrator
Kemal Dervi_.
The report comes at a key moment in negotiations to forge a
multilateral agreement for the period after 2012—the expiry
date for the current commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
It calls for a “twin track” approach that combines stringent
mitigation to limit 21st Century warming to less than 2°C
(3.6°F), with strengthened international cooperation on
On mitigation, the authors call on developed countries to
demonstrate leadership by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by
at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. The report advocates a
mix of carbon taxation, more stringent cap-and-trade
programmes, energy regulation, and international cooperation
on financing for low-carbon technology transfer.
Turning to adaptation, the report warns that inequalities in
ability to cope with climate change are emerging as an
increasingly powerful driver of wider inequalities between and
within countries. It calls on rich countries to put climate change
adaptation at the centre of international partnerships on poverty
“We are issuing a call to action, not providing a counsel of
despair,” commented lead author Kevin Watkins, adding,
“Working together with resolve, we can win the battle against
climate change. Allowing the window of opportunity to close
would represent a moral and political failure without precedent
in human history.” He described the Bali talks as a unique opportunity to put the interests of the world’s poor at the
heart of climate change negotiations.

you can obtain this and other press releases and info, including the report, from
Human Development Report Office