Oxfam calls on rich countries to reduce impact of climate change

UPDATED: 08:23, May 30, 2007

Human-induced climate change is having harmful impacts on the world's poorest people and rich countries must act now to pledge at least 50 billion U.S. dollars each year to take responsibility for the damage they have caused and to help poor people cope with impact, said a report published here Tuesday by Oxfam International.

"The world's poorest people are both the least responsible for emissions, and with few resources, are also the least capable to adapt to climatic shocks," said the report titled"Adapting to Climate Change"

As the International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) started Tuesday in Hong Kong to develop strategies, Oxfam Hong Kong called for the impacts on poor people to be at the center of discussion.

Oxfam Hong Kong says the annual sum of 50 billion for meeting the adaptation needs of developing countries is a conservative estimate that will rise sharply if emissions are not cut drastically in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

"Rich countries are already making huge investments at home to adapt to climate change so they know the scale of the problem

but they are stalling when it comes to providing money for poorer countries to do the same," said John Sayer, director- general of Oxfam Hong Kong.

So far, rich countries have only pledged 182 million dollars to international adaptation funds for developing countries for all poor countries, 48 million of which has been designated for all 49 of the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The LDCs need between one billion to two billion dollars simply for their most immediate and urgent adaptation projects.

"This is not about aid, it is about the world's biggest and richest polluters covering the costs forced upon those who are most vulnerable an entirely separate and added responsibility," Sayer said.

Oxfam Hong Kong has been supporting natural resource and disaster management projects across Asia and Africa for three decades. Current work includes training farmers across Asia in climate forecast; research into climate change and food security in Indonesia; adaptation methods in Vietnam; solar power in northwest China; and a study on climate change and poverty in Chinese mainland.

Source: Xinhua


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