Tackling poverty, climate change two sides of the same coin

This year presents significant opportunities for the global community to lay the foundation for a development agenda that puts efforts to tackle climate change and poverty on the same path.
In recent years, the development community’s efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, improve global health and increase access to education have involved little dialogue with global movements working to address climate change.
But these goals will only be achieved if global leaders regard climate change and poverty eradication as two parts of a unified development agenda, said experts at a panel discussion on Monday.Hosted by the British High Commission at Eden Hall in Singapore, the discussion centred on 2015’s potential to be a ‘defining moment for sustainable development’.
Panelist Michel Anglade, campaigns and advocacy director for UK-based non-profit Save the Children’s Asia Office, observed that Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November 2013 and cyclones Sidr and Aila which struck Bangladesh in 2007 and 2009 respectively, had an adverse impact on child mortality and access to education.
“This shows that the climate change and poverty eradication agenda are one. But it is not treated as such by the global community, and 2015 presents three key moments to develop a unified international agenda,” he told the 100-strong audience.
These three are: the third International Conference on Financing for Development (ICFD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July; the United Nations Special Summit on Sustainable Development in New York in September; and the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.
At the ICFD, global finance and foreign affairs ministers, along with business and civil society heads will decide on future development priorities and how domestic and international financing will help fulfil them.
The decisions made in Ethiopia are likely to impact the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), a guiding global framework for development efforts after 2015.
A draft set of 17 goals was released in June last year, and presents targets around themes such as poverty eradication, combating climate change, and achieving sustainable economic growth.
“If there is a poor commitment of resources at the ICFD in July, the lack of finances could result in low levels of ambition at September’s summit,” said Anglade.
This meeting could create the much-needed momentum for the UN climate change summit at year-end – where countries are meant to ink a binding agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. – Eco-Business