Global warming and poverty
Global warming is already happening. Its impact is being felt most by the world’s poorest people. Food production, water supplies, public health, and people’s livelihoods are all being damaged and undermined. Global warming threatens to reverse human progress, making the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for poverty reduction unachievable. Industrialized countries must lead the switch from polluting fossil-fuel based energy systems to clean energy – they have the biggest historical and present share of emissions, the best investment possibilities, and a large, highly skilled workforce. The new models for energy development must apply in industrialized countries as well as in less-developed countries. Today, humanity faces the intertwined challenges of horrific levels of poverty and a rapidly warming global climate. There is no “either/or” approach possible; the world must meet both its commitments to achieve the MDGs and tackle climate change. The two are inextricably linked.