Leaders must confront poverty as well as climate change in Copenhagen

Editor, Your editorial (“Time for the World to Unite on Climate Change”, 7 December) claims that climate change will “ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security”.  Ironically, with respect to climate and more generally, the very absence of prosperity is the problem for several billion of our planet’s inhabitants.
Drought. Rain will become more erratic, and scarse, as weather patterns change.
Drought. Rain will become more erratic, and scarse, as weather patterns change.

Editor,

Your editorial (“Time for the World to Unite on Climate Change”, 7 December) claims that climate change will “ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security”. 

Ironically, with respect to climate and more generally, the very absence of prosperity is the problem for several billion of our planet’s inhabitants.

Poverty largely results from government policies which hinder people from generating wealth and prosperity. Tragically, the leaders of poor countries invoke the climate change scapegoat to explain hunger, sickness and climate vulnerability.

They will arrive in Copenhagen with begging bowls in hand, alleging that wealthy countries have caused all their problems.

At the same time, vested interests such as ArcelorMittal - with £1 billion of carbon credits on its books – are keen that their assets don’t lose value when Kyoto expires in 2012.

The poor truly are left out of this equation.
In light of climate change and myriad other problems facing humanity, political leaders gathering in Copenhagen must focus on policies that enhance adaptability to climate while generating prosperity at the same time: economic growth, democracy, freedom to trade and property ownership.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Morris, IPN, UK

julian@policynetwork.net

 

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