Christian Aid welcomes Miliband spotlight on global poverty and climate

By agency reporter
January 16, 2015

UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid has welcomed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s acknowledgement of 2015 as a crucial year in the battle against acute global poverty and climate change.

Speaking to an audience of young people at Queen’s Park Community School, London, Mr Miliband highlighted the importance of two global conferences taking place later this year.

A United Nations summit in September 2015 must agree the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), aimed at tackling global poverty, which finish their term at the end of the year.

And in December, a meeting of parties to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris will endeavour to reach international agreement on capping carbon emissions with the aim of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees C.

“I know tackling climate change, global poverty and inequality are not as fashionable as they once were. But I also know they are more important than ever,’ said Mr Miliband.

Plans agreed at the two conferences will affect everyone worldwide,’ he added, “especially everyone in your generation because they will help determine the world you will live in.”

The MDGs are expected to be succeeded by a set of Sustainable Development Goals which Mr Miliband emphasised must include a standalone goal on tackling climate change.

His comments came the same day as the launch of the action/2015 campaign, a global initiative supported by Christian Aid to build public pressure for ambitious outcomes from the summits.

Laura Taylor, Christian Aid’s head of advocacy, said: “We are very pleased to hear Mr Miliband stepping out of election mode to address the wider world and the global problems we face. What is at stake transcends party politics.

“This year is absolutely crucial for reshaping the global framework for ending poverty, tackling inequality and stopping climate change.

“Great strides have been made against extreme poverty in recent years, but more must be agreed in New York to improve the living standards of the world’s poorest people, and tackle growing inequality.

“On climate - there is no greater threat to the world’s poor than severe climate disruption, and no greater opportunity to get the world back on course that this year’s summit in Paris.”

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