Christian Aid urges Blair to respond to climate change report

By staff writers
February 4, 2007

Scientists’ grim predictions of an even worse rate of global warming means the world must act immediately to help poor people cope with the now inevitable ravages of climate change, says international development agency Chrsitian Aid.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published indicates in the starkest terms how the world is plummeting towards climate catastrophe, the relief and advocacy organisations says.

It suggests that a twin strategy must be adopted urgently to help protect the most vulnerable people in developing countries who are on the front line of climate change and whom the report says are now under imminent threat from drought, flood, sea-level rise or conflict over scarce resources.

"The IPCC’s report shows there is not a second to lose," said Andrew Pendleton, Christian Aid’s senior climate change analyst. "Deadly greenhouse gas emissions must be stopped in their tracks and reversed. At the same time, the industrialised world – where the majority of emissions have been emitted – must compensate poor countries to help them adapt and survive."

Mr Pendleton said that 40 billion dollars per year, the upper end of the World Bank’s estimate of the cost of adaptation in poor countries, should be taken as a starting point. He urged UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to take the lead in finding an adequate compensatory mechanism.

"This is not aid money, this is justice," Mr Pendleton said. 'The rich world owes poor countries more money than we can count for causing this problem in the first place. It is truly outrageous that the industrialised world continues to pump greenhouse gases out into the atmosphere and then talks about only a few million pounds in handouts.

"The IPCC has now confirmed that the climate change caused by these emissions is already threatening the lives and livelihoods of poor people so we can no longer afford to tinker at the edges of this problem. In addition to cutting our own emissions, we need a survival strategy of Marshall Plan proportions for poor countries threatened by climate change," Mr Pendleton said.

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