Rich polluters should pay for impact on poor says aid agency

By staff writers
September 21, 2007

Rich polluters should pay for the impact of climate change on the world's poorest, a Catholic Aid agency has said.

The comments come following a major climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which predicts "huge impact" on Africa - a reminder, says aid agency CAFOD, that the rich world must pay for the harm caused to poor nations.

The IPCC says: “Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability.” African countries are suffering “huge economic impacts” to which they are less and less able to adapt.

Up to 10 per cent of national wealth could be diverted to defend coastal areas against sea-level rise, the report adds.

“This report is a reminder of the devastating impacts climate change is having on those that have contributed least to global warming – people living in poverty in developing countries,” says Liz Gallagher, Policy Researcher at CAFOD.

“Already, 150,000 people die each year from climate change, almost all from developing countries.”

"Countries, such as the UK, that have contributed most to climate change must take a lead both nationally and internationally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” Gallagher added.

“Vulnerable countries, especially in Africa, need funding additional to existing pledged commitments, to help adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

CAFOD is pressing for a stronger and more effective Climate Change Bill.

Liz Gallagher added: “The UK Government must ensure that the upcoming Climate Change Bill commits to at least an 80 per cent cut in the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050, sets binding carbon budgets with annual milestones and includes the UK’s share of shipping and aviation within the targets.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world's leading scientific body on climate change, and draws on the expertise of hundreds of scientists and researchers.

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