Climate report presented in Ankara

01 Feb 2008

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Following the worldwide launch of the 2007/2008 Global Human Development Report in November 2007, the report was also presented in Ankara on 24 January 2008.

New Horizons - Among the participants of the launch were Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment  Sedat Kadıoğlu, UNDP Resident Representative Mahmood Ayub, General Director of the State Planning Organization General Directorate of Social Sectors and Coordination Kemal Madenoğlu and Marina Olshanskaya UNDP Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Initially the 2007/2008 Global Human Development Report was launched on 27 November 2007 in Brazil by the UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş in parallel with launches all over the world including Istanbul.

The welcoming remarks of the presentation in Ankara were made by UNDP Resident Representative Mahmood Ayub. Ayub gave striking statistical figures from around the world and explained the human development approach. UNDP Technical Specialist on Climate Change Marina Olshanskaya on the other hand gave further detail on countries’ carbon emissions. Other issues taken up during the meeting were Turkey and climate change and Turkey’s reflection on the report followed by a session of challenging questions and answers.

The report Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World warns that the world should focus on the development impact of climate change that could bring unprecedented reversals in poverty reduction, nutrition, health and education. Fighting Climate Change provides a stark account of the threat posed by global warming and warns that inequalities in ability to cope with climate change are emerging as an increasingly powerful driver of wider inequalities which could lock the world’s poorest countries in a downward spiral, leaving hundreds of millions facing malnutrition, water scarcity, ecological threats, loss of livelihoods and many health risks.

Some of the ecological threats that the report highlights are:

·         The breakdown of agricutural systems as a result of increased exposure to drought, rising temperatures and more erratic rainfall, leaving up to 600 million more people facing malnutrition.

·         An additional 1.8 billion people facing water stress by 2080, with large areas of South Asia and northern China facing a grave ecological crisis as a result of glacial retreat and changed waterfall patterns.

·         Displacement through flooding and tropical storm activity of up to 332 million people in coastal and low-lying areas.

·         Emerging health risks, with an additional population of up to 400 million facing the risk of malaria.

Authors of the report therefore call on developed countries to demonstrate leadership by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. Among other alternative recommendations are establishing carbon taxation, more stringent cap-and-trade programmes, energy regulation and international cooperation of financing for low-carbon technology transfer.

During the global launch of the Report, UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş said: “Ultimately climate change is a threat to humanity as a whole. But it is the poor, a constituency with no responsibility for the ecological debt we are running up, who face the immediate and most severe human costs. Of course there are uncertainties, but faced with risks of this order of magnitude uncertainty is not a case for inaction. Ambitious mitigation is in fact the insurance we have to buy against potentially very large risks. Fighting climate change is about our commitment to human development today and about creating a world that will provide ecological security for our children and their grandchildren”.

Please click here to read the report.