Nick Milton

1316

Recommended reading: http://www.practicalaction.org

Posts by Nick

  • Offsetting George Clooney’s private jet? The women of Sudan will drink to that.

    March 4th, 2014

     

    georgeWe’ve all seen those slick adverts where the suave George Clooney is turned down by a series of beautiful women who are more interested in the coffee machine than him. What you may not know is that Clooney has used the large cheque he got from Nespresso to invest in Sudan, a country ravaged by war and poverty. He has visited Sudan on several occasions and takes a passionate interest in the plight of its people. 

    Clooney also takes a real interest in environmental issues but told the Guardian recently “I’ve been in a private jet and once you do that you pretty much undo any good”. So if he wanted to offset all those flights around the world Practical Action has the ideal project.

    Practical Actions low smoke stove project in Sudan is delivering ten thousand cook stoves to women in El Fasher in North Darfur. This will allow them to replace their traditional wood and charcoal fires with modern, energy efficient and cleaner burning Liquid Petroleum Gas cook stoves, in the process saving precious forest cover. It could also help boost Clooneys female fan base there as it is being delivered in co-operation with the Women’s Development Network Association which represents over 50,000 women in Sudan, roughly the same number who log on to Clooney’s ‘official’ Facebook page each day.

    The project has recently issued its first carbon credits, just in time for the start of climate week. The 35,359 credits are the first to be issued in Sudan and have been certified by the Gold Standard Foundation in Switzerland. They are also the first to be issued using new rules developed for verifying projects in conflict zones and refugee camps.

    In Sudan charcoal costs a household around £20 ($33.50) per month, while using LPG costs roughly £7 ($11.70) per month. But the initial cost of the stove and the LPG canister are beyond most families so they continue to use charcoal and cut down the forest and scrub land. To overcome this Practical Action has introduced a micro-loan scheme operated by the WDNA. There is a loan repayment rate of over 90%, very high for an area where nearly half of the people live below the poverty line.

    SudanThe project was started in 2007 with the finance put up by Carbon Clear who are also selling the credits. The project will save more than 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 10 years and will ensure that climate finance reaches some of the world poorest people.

    It will also improve their health by cutting down on smoke, another issue close to Clooney’s heart as he grew up on a farm and is the grandson of tobacco farmers. So if Clooney wants to help some of the poorest people in Sudan and at the same time reduce his carbon footprint he now knows which credits to buy. The women of Sudan would drink to that.

     

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  • Help the BBC design a successor to Toughest Place to be a

    February 6th, 2014

    ToughestAfter 5 series one of the best programmes on the BBC, Toughest Place to be a , will shortly come to an end. A one off return featuring the London cabbie Mason McQueen heading back to the chaotic streets of Mumbai is currently being filmed. However, after that the executive producer at the BBC in charge of Toughest, Sam Bagnall,  has confirmed that no more will be commissioned.

    The programme which took a bus driver, binman, fireman, nurse and a fisherman among other professions to do their job in a developing country under some of the toughest conditions in the world was compulsive viewing. It was also one of the few programmes on the BBC showing what life is like for really poor people, many of whom exist on less than 2 dollars a day. You can see some memorable clips from the series here.

    When I met Sam last month he confirmed that the BBC are now looking for a new programme which will be a worthy successor to Toughest.  To help in this process Sam, who also produces This World and the wonderful Simon Reeve travelogues, has asked Practical Action supporters to send him ideas for a new TV format.

    Toughest 2Speaking at an International Broadcasting Trust event in London he told me “Working on Toughest Place to be a was a great experience. It also really helped to highlight the plight of poor people living under very difficult conditions. I was particularly proud of the programme we made about overfishing in Sierra Leone. As a result a patrol vessel was donated by the Isle of Man and the scourge of illegal fishing there has been almost eradicated, transforming the lives of local fishermen . I would welcome ideas on a new format which would work for us. Showing what life is really like for poor people around the world in a way which is both informative but also entertaining is challenging but I’m determined to do it ”.

    To help people come up with a format which works I’ve put together a few criteria which I’ve run by Sam

    •  Like Toughest Place To Be has got to make good television (think Reithian principles to entertain, inform and educate in that order)
    • Needs to be documentary based with very strong human interest stories (some of the most innovative recent formats have been reality TV)
    • Can’t be too expensive: it’s the BBC after all!
    • Needs to be a format a mechanic or solicitor would enjoy, not just someone interested in development issues
    • Has got to deal with the big issues but from a surprising and different angle
    • Ideally it would show developing countries in transition or challenge a stereotype we have about them

    If you have an idea for a new TV format which meets these criteria I would be delighted to send it directly to Sam.

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  • What do you get if you cross Top Gear, Millets and Casualty?

    November 14th, 2013

    The answer is the aidex conference in Brussels, a humanitarian and development aid trade event which I’m visiting.

    It’s easy to forget that international development is a multi-billion Euro industry. Not here. Walking around the stands you are offered everything from an armoured vehicle which can survive an IED exploding underneath, a snatch at 235,000 Euros, to a more modest 4 ton DAF truck which retails for just 15,000 Euros.

    Some of the vehicles have been sprayed by a machine gun to test their resilience under fire. It’s the sort of thing that I dream of doing to Jeremy Clarkson. Elsewhere there are a bewildering number of tents, telecommunications and medical equipment for sale. Exactly what they need right now in the Philippines.

    Typhoon Haiyan has cast a very long shadow over the event. Every speaker has referred to it. What has been far less talked about is the climate change talks going on down the road in Warsaw. Joining the dots between development aid, weather related disasters and climate change is the subject of a letter that Practical Action have in the Guardian today as the Prime Minister visits Sri Lanka.

    Sadly I’m not here to test drive a 4X4 under fire or even spend a night under canvas but to promote our technical information service, Practical Answers. I’ve had a really encouraging response from the exhibitors here and hope we can find some new partners to promote this important service. It’s exactly the sort of advice that the survivors in the Philippines will need when the emergency relief effort has moved on.

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  • Energy: out of sight and out of mind?

    February 26th, 2013

    Too often people in developed countries like the UK who have access to energy all the time don’t give it a second thought. We flick a switch and the light comes in. We push a button and our cooker comes on. We turn a dial and our heating comes on.  But in developing countries lack of access to energy keeps billions of people in poverty.

    It is estimated that 1.3 billion people are still without any form of electricity and 2.7 billion people still cook over open fires. That’s the equivalent of the whole of the Chinese and Indian populations combined.

    People like Mrs Sanchez, 27, a mother of four young children who runs one of only a handful of stores in Yanacancha Baja, an isolated village nestled in the highlands of northern Peru. Until the installation of a micro-hydro plant by Practical Action four years ago, candles, kerosene and firewood were Beatriz’s primary source of energy for light and cooking.  Since the installation of the village’s hydroelectric plant, she has transformed her business, as well as the quality of life for her young family. ‘We used to close up at six o’clock’ Mrs Sanchez said. ‘There was no point staying open later because no one would walk around after nightfall. Now with the new streetlights people come and go until much later and we regularly stay open until eight, sometimes nine.’

    Mrs Sanchez business and life has been transformed by energy. But billions of people aren’t so lucky.

    To support the launch of our Poor Peoples Energy Outlook 2013 report we want to show all the ways that people in developed countries are reliant on energy and how it can transform the lives of people in developing countries. That’s why we need your help.

    To highlight the crucial role that energy plays in all our lives we want to create a mosaic picture of the Earth from space composed of ‘energy enables pictures’ sent in by you.

    Here’s an example of a mosaic picture…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And this image we want to use to create our energy enables Earth mosaic picture.

    Have a look at our energy enables website www.practicalaction.org/energyenables for inspiration.  Here you’ll find pictures of everything from making a cup of tea in the UK to solar panels in the Sudan.

    We’ve also had some really wacky pictures sent in. Look out for the man riding a bike connected to a smoothie making machine and the dog which can send emails while their owner is down the pub!

    So please send us your pictures by uploading them via Twitter using the hash tag #EnergyEnables or send them direct to nick.thompson@practicalaction.org.

    Every picture will be used and we’ll send you a link to the finished Earth mosaic.

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  • Climate change speaker tour visits Germany and Czech Republic

    November 12th, 2012
    I’ve just finished the first part of Practical Actions European speaker tour on climate change, having visited Germany and the Czech Republic. In both countries I was talking about our adaptation work in Bangladesh including our Pathways from Poverty project. I stated that despite Bangladesh being one of the poorest and most climate affected countries in the world, many other countries could learn a lot from the way it has adapted to the increasing floods and other climate related disasters caused by climate change. 
     
    In Germany I presented our project at a major conference in Bonn from 1-3 November called ‘Dialogue Towards Transformation’ organized by our project partner, Germanwatch.  The conference was attended by 140 NGOs from 22 countries around the world including both developed and developing nations.
     
    It highlighted the synergies and tensions which exist between climate change and other subjects such as food security, energy and poverty reduction. This is also one of the issues addressed in Practical Actions new 5 year strategy from 2012-2017. 
     
    One of the major talking points at the conference was the need for NGOs or Civil Society to agree on development priorities in the run up to the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals. There was also a lot of debate about the extent to which NGOs can really influence international negotiations like the Rio + 20 conference and the global climate change talks or whether our job is to build a mass movement outside these processes calling for change. 
     
    Like the UK and Bangladesh, flooding is the major climate impact in both the Czech Republic and Germany. Just two years ago flooding there and in Poland killed nine people and resulted in over a thousand having to be evacuated from their homes.
     
    Despite the recession and the EU bailout, Germany continues to be a leader in climate change and promoting the green economy. In contrast in the Czech Republic there is still a lot of scepticism about climate change among the public and politicians and their current President, Vaclav Klaus, is a well known climate sceptic. The Czechs also have one of the highest carbon dioxide emissions per head of population in Europe due to their heavy industry and car manufacturing.
     
     To highlight the issues I spoke to business studies and social geography students at two universities in Prague and also to international development students at Olomouc university. The debates were organized by our Czech partner, Glopolis.  Before my presentation I asked all the students how many of them thought climate change was real and was happening now. Only about half put their hands up. 
     
    So a major challenge for the Czech NGO movement in the next few years will be to transform public and political opinion in relation to climate change. This was the subject of a round table debate I attended with many of the Czech Republics leading NGOs and a representative of their Department of Energy and Climate Protection. We agreed an important opportunity to do this will be the publication of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in 2013/14. This is likely to contain a wealth of evidence that many of the extreme weather events like flooding both in Europe and Bangladesh can now be directly linked to climate change.
     
    In both Germany and the Czech Republic our adaptation work in Bangladesh promoting technologies like floating gardens, sand bar cropping and duck farming was well received. Many delegates, students and NGO staff came up to me afterwards and said that too often in the debate on climate change the voice of the poor wasn’t heard and that policy needed to be much better informed by what is happening on the ground. Practical Action with its wealth of experience working with the world’s poor and knowing what works in the field is in a unique position to do both. 
     
    Among many of those I spoke to in both Germany and the Czech Republic there was strong agreement that adaptation must now go up the UN and the EUs agenda and that we need to see a far greater political and financial commitment to helping people in countries like Bangladesh adapt to a future in which once rare events like flooding become part of the everyday struggle for survival.  One student I spoke to in Prague summed up the situation well when she said “Your work in countries like Bangladesh buys vital time for the world to adapt to climate change and gives the poorest people most affected by it a fighting chance of a future”
     
    The speaking tour now moves on to the European Parliament and then the United Kingdom before attending the climate talks in Qatar.
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  • Greater climate change commitment

    November 9th, 2012

    I’ve just finished the first part of Practical Action’s European speaker tour on climate change, having visited Germany and the Czech Republic.

    In both countries I was talking about our adaptation work in Bangladesh, including our ‘Pathways from Poverty’ project.

    Despite Bangladesh being one of the poorest and most climate affected countries in the world, many other countries could learn a lot from the way it has adapted to the increasing floods and other climate related disasters caused by climate change.

    In Germany, I presented our project at a major conference in Bonn from 1-3 November called ‘Dialogue Towards Transformation’ organised by our project partner, Germanwatch.  The conference was attended by 140 NGOs from 22 countries around the world including both developed and developing nations.

    It highlighted the synergies and tensions which exist between climate change and other subjects such as food security, energy and poverty reduction. This is also one of the issues addressed in Practical Action’s new five-year strategy from 2012-2017.

    One of the major talking points at the conference was the need for NGOs or Civil Society to agree on development priorities in the run up to the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals. There was also a lot of debate about the extent to which NGOs can really influence international negotiations like the Rio plus 20 conference and the global climate change talks or whether our job is to build a mass movement outside these processes calling for change.

    Like the UK and Bangladesh, flooding is the major climate impact in both the Czech Republic and Germany. Just two years ago, flooding there and in Poland killed nine people and resulted in over 1,000 having to be evacuated from their homes.

    Despite the recession and the EU bailout, Germany continues to be a leader in climate change and promoting the green economy. In contrast in the Czech Republic there is still a lot of scepticism about climate change among the public and politicians and their current President, Vaclav Klaus, is a well known climate sceptic. The Czechs also have one of the highest carbon dioxide emissions per head of population in Europe due to their heavy industry and car manufacturing.

    To highlight the issues, I spoke to business studies and social geography students at two universities in Prague and also to international development students at Olomouc university. The debates were organised by our Czech partner, Glopolis.  Before my presentation I asked all the students how many of them thought climate change was real and was happening now. Only about half put their hands up.

    So a major challenge for the Czech NGO movement in the next few years will be to transform public and political opinion in relation to climate change. This was the subject of a round table debate I attended with many of the Czech Republics, leading NGOs and a representative of their Department of Energy and Climate Protection. We agreed an important opportunity to do this will be the publication of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in 2013/14. This is likely to contain a wealth of evidence that many of the extreme weather events like flooding both in Europe and Bangladesh can now be directly linked to climate change.

    Our adaptation work in Bangladesh (promoting technologies like floating gardens, sand bar cropping and duck farming) was well received in both Germany and the Czech Republic. Many delegates, students and NGO staff came up to me afterwards and said that too often in the debate on climate change the voice of the poor isn’t heard and that policy needed to be much better informed by what is happening on the ground. Practical Action, with its wealth of experience working with the world’s poor and knowing what works in the field, is in a unique position to do both.

    Among many of those I spoke to in both Germany and the Czech Republic there was strong agreement that adaptation must now go up the UN and the EUs agenda and that we need to see a far greater political and financial commitment to helping people in countries like Bangladesh adapt to a future in which once rare events like flooding become part of the everyday struggle for survival.  One student I spoke to in Prague summed up the situation well when she said “Your work in countries like Bangladesh buys vital time for the world to adapt to climate change and gives the poorest people most affected by it a fighting chance of a future.”

    The speaking tour now moves on to the European Parliament and then the United Kingdom before attending the climate talks in Qatar.

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  • Building bridges between Britain and Bangladesh

    September 27th, 2012

    One casualty of the worst September storms in decades has been the town of Tadcaster in North Yorkshire. It has been split in two after flooding forced the closure of a major road bridge over the River Wharfe.

    The Mayor of Tadcaster, Steve Cobb, said the Wharfe was at its highest level since major floods hit the area in 2000.

    He said a number of businesses close to the river had been flooded. “We’re one community but we are split in two today,” Mr Cobb said.

    “We are totally dependent on the bridge. It’s a four or five mile trip around without it, just to get to the other side.

    “We have a doctor’s on one side, schools on both sides, all sorts of businesses on either side. We’ve got our fingers crossed. We’ve got everything crossed.”

    The Mayor of Tadcaster doesn’t know it but he has a lot in common with Kazi Mahmudullah who lives on the other side of the world in Bangladesh, a country which knows all about floods. Every day he has to jostle with hundreds of buses, trucks, cars and other vehicles to get on a ferry to take him across the river Ganges to get to his job in a solar power factory.

    Many of the ferries and other boats that cross the huge river are unsafe because they are old and dilapidated so strong currents and high winds can cause accidents. The journey is made more perilous by climate change which means that rivers like the Ganges and the Wharfe now flood far more frequently.

    “It takes two to three hours to cross the river,” he says.

    “There aren’t many ferries and we have no other alternative than to wait. If there was a bridge then we could cross the river in 15 minutes.”

    The Ganges, known locally as the Padma, divides the capital Dhaka from the south of the country, effectively isolating 30 million people.

    Building a bridge across the Ganges has been a long held dream of Bangladeshis and it now looks as though it may finally happen.

    The BBC have reported that the World Bank are again considering lending the country the $1.2 billion towards the $3 billion needed to complete the bridge. If it goes ahead it will be the biggest infrastructure project in the country’s history.

    The bridge would help connect Bangladesh with neighbouring India and Burma on its eastern side. But it would also transform the lives of the 30 million people living in the under-developed south.

    It’s to highlight the plight of people like Kazi Mahmudullah that Practical Action is organising a European speaker tour this November featuring the manager of our Pathways from Poverty project in Bangladesh, Nazmul Chowdhury. Nazmul will address the German, UK and European Parliaments before going on to the climate change talks in Doha.

    In the meantime Kazi Mahmudullah will continue to have to take his chances on the ferry. Despite being separated by thousands of miles it’s a journey which Steve Cobb could now probably relate to.

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  • Bangkok talks keep climate hopes afloat – just

    Bangkok, Thailand, Bangkok Noi
    September 6th, 2012

    Have you heard the joke about the drowning man? You know the one in which a man is stuck on his rooftop during a flood and prays to God who first sends a rowing boat, then a motor boat and finally a helicopter to save him… *

    In terms of the climate talks in Bangkok which have just finished on 5 September they will probably go down in history as being the motor boat. However, the next set of climate talks in Doha beginning on 26 November will definitely be the helicopter.

    So what have the talks in Bangkok achieved? Commentators are divided from the United Nations who have, predictably, praised the talks as making “concrete progress” to the Bangkok Post who have said they have made no progress at all and ended in “stalemate”. The NGOs here represented by Climate Action Network International believe they have made technical progress, which could pave the way for an extension of the Kyoto protocol up to 2020 at Doha but that there are still a large number of unresolved issues on the table. These include the level of cuts different countries are willing to adopt, who is going to pay for climate change and whether the world can agree a new legally binding agreement post 2020. In other words the Bangkok talks have kept hope on climate change afloat – just.

    I’ve been attending the talks on behalf of Practical Action and promoting our event at the next climate talks in Doha on 28 November called “Learning the lessons from flooding in climate adaptation”. It reflects the fact that for many vulnerable people around the world in flood prone countries like Thailand, the Philippines and Bangladesh, it is not a case of trying to stop climate change but living with it now.

    Adaptation is an issue that has been little on the agenda in Bangkok but needs to urgently be in Doha. Many of the delegates I’ve spoken to here over the last week agree that climate adaptation must go up the UN’s agenda and there needs to be a much better balance when it comes to funding (currently only about 10% of climate finance is spent on adaptation). To do this, they have formed an Adaptation Committee which is due to meet for the first time immediately after the talks in Bangkok. A big part of their work will be to mandate countries to draw up National Adaptation Plans, both for developed and developing nations.

    Nationally, the UK should be in a good position to do this, having formed an adaptation sub-committeee of its own following the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2008. Their latest report, published in July, on the affects of flooding and water scarcity, makes fastinating reading. Other developing countries will need more help in drawing up plans but the critical issue, like so many issues to do with climate change, will be who will pay for implementation of the plans.

    At the moment for developing countries that funding is due to come from the Green Climate Fund. However, at present the GCF doesnt even have a bank account, let alone a means of distributing money. One of the key success criteria for the Doha talks will therefore be that developed countries including the UK make rapid progress in committing the $100 billion a year they have promised the fund by 2020 and ensuring that at least half goes on climate adaptation.

    * A man was stuck on his rooftop during a flood. Despairing of any help he started praying to God. Soon a man in a rowing boat came by and shouted “Jump in, I can save you. The stranded man shouted back, “No, thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the rowing boat went by. Then a motor boat came by and the driver shouted “Jump in, I can save you.” “No thanks” shouted back the man ” I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the motor boat went by.

    Finally a helicopter came and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” The stranded man again declined, convinced God would save him. So the helicopter reluctantly flew away. Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. In the next life he finally met God and angrily exclaimed “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. Why?” God replied, “I sent you a rowing boat, a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

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  • Bangkok climate change talks enter deep water

    September 3rd, 2012

    Last year large areas of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, were underwater and on the verge of being evacuated. Fast forward nine months and from 30 August to 5 September the capital is host to the latest United Nations conference on climate change, talks which are also entering deep water. The outcome could determine whether or not the Kyoto protocol sinks or swims and with it many flood prone countries around the world.

    The 2011 floods in Thailand were the worst in 50 years.  Afterwards Thailands Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawtra, said “We need to learn a lesson from the big flood last year”. That lesson is that once rare and extreme weather events associated with climate change are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life for many vulnerable people around the world.

    Thailand’s floods claimed over 800 lives, directly affected over 2.5 million people and cost the insurance industry an estimated $20 billion. It is a salutary lesson that the 164 delegates from around the world attending the Bangkok conference would do well to remember as they negotiate the agenda for the next round of climate talks in Qatar in November  in their working groups and round table discussions.

    In the plenary session Nauru representing the Alliance of Small Island States – the 44 countries whose very survival depends on getting an outcome said: “We have three months left to deliver a Kyoto plus outcome. It cannot be window dressing or full of accounting tricks and conditionality. Kyoto runs out on the 1st of January 2013. But there are still so many unresolved issues from ambition to the length of commitment period”.

    Although the conference is not decision making, over the next week they will discuss a range of important issues from extending the existing Kyoto protocol which runs out at the end of the year to a detailed work plan for a legally binding climate change agreement post 2020. Also at stake are whether developed countries who did not sign the Kyoto agreement will adopt stringent targets, the role that developing countries should play in climate mitigation and funding new forms of climate finance including the Green Climate Fund.

    I’m covering the talks on behalf of Practical Action and am lobbying the delegates to attend an event we have organised at the climate talks in Qatar on 28 November. Entitled “learning the lessons from flooding in climate adaptation” it will highlight the work that Practical Action is doing around the world with flooding victims in countries from Bangladesh to Peru. For many of them climate change is already a reality and whatever the outcome at Qatar, putting serious money into climate adaptation measures over the next few years will be critical.

    The meeting at Bangkok will be critical to ironing out those details. A failure to do so will result in the Kyoto protocol being buried in the sand in Qatar.

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  • Changing the Green Climate Fund

    August 21st, 2012

    Mahatma Gandi once famously said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. However, for most of us the reality is that we find change difficult. Whether it’s changing jobs, moving home or far more challenging issues like dealing with redundancy, divorce or illness, change is rarely easy.

    When it comes to countries dealing with change, just like the rest of us they don’t find it easy but some are better prepared than others. Last week the UK based risk analysts Maplecroft published a Natural Hazards Risk Atlas looking at how different countries deal with climate related changes such as flooding and tropical cyclones.

    The atlas found that countries like Japan, USA, China, Taiwan and Mexico had the highest risk to natural disasters but they also had the potential to recover the most quickly due to their economic strength, strong governance, building regulations and disaster preparedness. In contrast the emerging economies of South East Asia including Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Vietnam were at the most risk overall because their economies and infrastructure were the least able to recover from natural shocks.

    “High exposure to natural hazards in these countries are compounded by a lack of resilience to combat the effects of a disaster should one emerge,” said Helen Hodge, Head of Maps and Indices at Maplecroft. “Given the exposure of key financial and manufacturing centres, the occurrence of a major event would be likely to have significant impacts on the total economic output of these countries, as well as foreign business.”

    Importantly the report goes on to conclude that these events ‘could exacerbate social unrest, food insecurity, corruption and ultimately could lead to political risk’. These are the indirect and too often hidden effects of climate change and why it’s essential that even during a global recession governments put climate change firmly back on the political agenda.

    Practical Action has been working with flooding victims in Bangladesh for over a decade. During this time we have learnt many lessons about what does and doesn’t work, lessons which we believe governments could find useful in climate adaptation. That’s why we have organised a European speaker tour in November with Nazmul Chowdhury, who manages our major DFID sponsored project in the country called Pathways from Poverty. It is also why we have organised an event at the climate change talks in Qatar on Wednesday 28 November called “Learning the lessons from flooding in climate adaptation”.

    One of the major global mechanisms for tackling climate change is the Green Climate Fund which channels money from developed to developing countries. The Fund has been set up to “provide support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change”.

    After months of haggling over nominations to the board, the first meeting of the fund will finally take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 23 to 25 August. The fund has a target to raise $100billion by 2020 but so far only about $30 billion has been pledged and just $11 billion raised. Much more progress will be needed at the climate talks in Qatar if we are not to see natural disasters becoming financial ones across many emerging economies in South East Asia.

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