Tuesday, September 1, 2009

UN: Rich countries will suffer unless they help poor on climate change

Ashley Seager in the Guardian (UK): The world's rich countries need to embark on a huge transfer of funds to developing countries in order for both groups to grow richer and reduce their carbon emissions significantly, a United Nations report urges today. Delaying spending on mitigating climate change in the developing world "runs the real danger of locking in dirtier investments for several more decades", says the annual survey from the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

Ahead of this weekend's meeting of G20 finance ministers in London, the report estimates that developed countries need immediately to transfer around 1% of world gross product (WGP), or $500-600bn (£300-370bn), to poor countries. Carrying on with business as usual, or making only minor changes, could lose 20% of WGP so doing nothing would be an expensive mistake, it argues.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says the report "makes the case for meeting both the climate challenge and the development challenge by recognising the links between the two and proceeding along low-emissions, high-growth pathways". The report adds, using unusually strong language, that "by any measure, the amounts currently promised for meeting the climate challenge in the near term are woefully inadequate".

It continues: "The failure of wealthy countries to honour long-standing commitments of international support for poverty reduction and adequate transfers of resources and technology remains the single biggest obstacle to meeting the climate change challenge."…

The Maheno Shipwreck on Fraser Island, off the coast of Australia, shot by Frank Kam in 2002, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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