Practical Action’s manifesto to tackle climate change for the world’s poor
Climate change is seriously undermining progress on the MDGs, as people are facing the impacts of extreme weather events on top of their other challenges – poverty, hunger, lack of clean water and sanitation, education and health services.
Time is running out for preventing dangerous climate change, but there is still time for positive action to be taken that could transform their future.
Practical Action believes that every government and individual around the world has a role to play. If we all take action now to tackle these issues we can make a difference to the world’s most vulnerable communities, today and for generations to come.
Practical Action is working to show how communities can adapt to climate change, and to influence international policy to ensure funding, technologies, knowledge and information is available to enable the most vulnerable communities to adapt.
Urgent cuts in emissions
People in developing countries will continue to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change if urgent cuts in emissions are not achieved. Recurring and severe disasters such as floods and droughts will result in more malnutrition, more hunger, more poverty and many more deaths; meaning the MDGs will become an almost impossible task for the world. This is unacceptable in the 21st century – as measures to tackle climate change can be put into place. The technology and know-how exists – it is political will that is lacking.
Practical Action is pushing for UK, EU and other developed countries to take action now to cut their emissions, so that the target of at least 80% reductions by 2050 have a possibility of being achieved. Without this commitment, the temperature rise will exceed 2°C and the consequences will be devastating for millions across the world, who have done little to contribute to the problem.
Additional resources for adaptation
The impact of climate change can be minimised by assisting poor people to adapt. Practical Action’s experience shows that community-based projects using inexpensive, appropriate technologies such as simple bamboo baskets to breed fish in ponds as a supplementary food source, or building dykes to avoid floods are very effective in saving lives. But these projects need to be massively scaled up in order to help millions of poor people to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. A significant amount of funding is required in order to deliver this.
Practical Action has pushed for adaptation for poor and vulnerable communities to be at the heart of international climate change negotiations, and in Durban agreement was reached that provides a framework for this to happen. However, funding is not yet in place. Developed countries must bear the major responsibility for agreeing sources for this funding and setting up the mechanisms for and generating finance for adaptation. These funds need to be additional to development aid already committed. Practical Action believes that providing resources for adaptation should not be viewed as aid but as a matter of justice – compensation for the massive injustice of climate change.