UN: New Efforts to Reduce Climate Change and Poverty
On December 5, officials from 195 different countries agreed on a proposal to reduce global carbon emissions in an effort to reduce climate change and poverty worldwide. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released the drafted agreement that addresses issues relating to reducing climate change and poverty such as food security, deforestation and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. There are three global goals listed in the draft agreement, the first being to “maintain global average temperatures short of a two degrees Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.”
According to the National Centers for Environment Information (NOAA), every state in the U.S. had above-average fall temperatures during September and November of last year. The average global temperature during the month of October was the highest ever recorded.
The second goal of the climate change draft proposes increasing a nation’s ability to adapt to resulting climate change and respond effectively. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that climate change is a threat to economic growth in Africa and other parts of the developing world.
A World Bank report finds that globally, poor people are at high risk for climate-related disasters, so it is important for communities to develop early warning systems. Being prepared for a catastrophe, like flooding or crop damage due to heat, can save resources and help to counter the effects of climate change on the economy.
The third global goal of the UNFCCC climate change draft suggests creating sustainable development strategies in order to create climate-resilient communities with minimized greenhouse gas emissions to reduce poverty rates.
The climate change draft to reduce poverty also includes the following proposal: “Developed countries shall provide developing countries with long-term, scaled-up, predictable, new and additional finance, technology and capability-building.”
According to the World Bank, climate change can put 100 million more people into poverty by the year 2030. John Roome, Senior Director for Climate Change at the World Bank Group, recognizes the importance of creating sustainable development strategies to reduce climate change and poverty.
He states, “We have the ability to end extreme poverty even in the face of climate change, but to succeed, climate considerations will need to be integrated into development work. And we will need to act fast, because as climate impacts increase, so will the difficulty and cost of eradicating poverty.”
– Kelsey Lay
Sources: CNN, National Centers for Environment Information, NPR, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change