Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Climate solutions need strong decision making

Kanya D'Almeida in IPS: The year 2010 endured 950 natural disasters, 90 percent of which were weather-related and cost the global community well over 130 billion dollars. From wildfires in Brazil to record rainfall in the United States to the severe drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, it has become clear to many that quick and radical decisions need to be made about the world's future.

One of the biggest advocates of this position has been the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) which, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank released a report here Tuesday calling on decision makers to enact quick and efficient resolutions to multiple and chronic environmental crises.

Pulling input from 100 experts in 35 countries, "Decision Making in a Changing Climate", or the 2010-2011 World Resources Report (WRR) presents case studies of creative, sustainable responses to climate change in the developing world.

It also maps the major problems facing decision makers, namely the unprecedented pace of global warming, rising sea levels and melting ice-caps; trade-offs between so-called "short-term" and "long-term" solutions; and the incredibly uneven distribution of access, wealth, skills and information across the world's population, which forces the burden of climate change onto already oppressed, impoverished or marginalised populations.

Kelly Levin, research director and lead author of the WRR, told IPS, "There are two reasons we believe this report is groundbreaking. Firstly, because the inclusive research approach ensures the quality of our recommendations. And secondly, we focus less on what needs to be done and instead detail how it can be done."

"By focusing on the process, rather than dictating solutions, we hope to ensure a fundamental change in the way governments integrate climate change into everyday practices, so that decision making can actually work better in this changing climate," she said....

A burned forest in Voronezh, shot by Timur Mamedrzaev, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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