The Link between Climate Change and Poverty

The continuing yearly meetings of the Conference of the Parties will re-convene this fall in Lima, Peru.  This Conference must show progress towards effective targets for GHG reduction and support for the Green Climate Fund.

This Fund is intended to assist those countries who do not have the resources or technological skills to institute measures to combat global warming.  4RG has consistently called for this assistance, as an aspect of a moral responsibility to less fortunate peoples. As we said in a previous blog:

The reasons for and the need for a Green Climate Fund should never be in doubt.   Pope Benedict and other world religious leaders have been clear on the moral justification for such a fund. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in a shared a video of support, said, “It’s no time for despair – but it’s certainly no time for complacency either. The moral crisis is as real as ever. And we need as never before real moral leadership from the international community. We need to know that governments will fulfill the pledges that have been given by the richer countries, to provide $100bn by 2020.”

There are other ways to assist developing countries in this combat.  Climate Action Network (CAN) follows the deliberations of a UN-sponsored NGO, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Solutions (OWG), which is currently working on the formulation of goals. CAN has pointed out that the link between climate change and poverty must be addressed in recommendations from this NGO.

Several countries are opposed to including climate change issues in these recommendations.  We can’t identify this countries but we have our suspicions.

So we have joined forces with many other organizations, both in Canada and abroad, to insist on the identification of climate change as a big factor in endemic poverty. Extracts from the submission letter to Co-chairs and members of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustained Development Goals (SDGs) follow:

We believe that climate change is an existential threat to humankind and global efforts to overcome poverty and achieve sustainable development. Therefore, we also believe that climate change must be visibly reflected in the future Sustainable Development Goal framework.

A SDG framework without climate change action as a strong backbone would not be sustainable or credible, nor would it help to lay the foundations for future international action and cooperation on sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Therefore, the framework must address climate change in a manner that recognises the urgency and importance of dealing with the most fundamental challenge of our time. This includes targets under relevant goals as well as a separate climate change goal.

Ahead of the next two meetings of the Open Working Group, we are asking for your continued commitment to maintain and increase the visibility of climate change in the suggested goals and targets, especially as difficult choices (and necessary sacrifices) clearly lie ahead as the overall number of goals and targets are reduced.

Specifically, the post-2015 development framework must contain a coherent set of goals and targets which a) contribute to a global low-carbon development pathway and to keeping global warming below dangerous levels through significant emissions reductions, b) support the achievement of poverty eradication and sustainable development and c) promote human rights and build community resilience through adaptation to the harmful impacts of climate change.

We believe that a robust framework of this nature will help to support the scale of ambition needed to achieve the UNFCCC’s aims and help to ensure the delivery of a strong climate deal at COP21 in Paris in 2015. “

We will continue to monitor the progress of this NGO,

 

 

 

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