Climate change a threat to MDGs warn experts

Wednesday August 27 2008

By DAVE OPIYO in Accra

Developing countries may not achieve their Millennium Development Goals targets by 2015 unless they address climate change concerns, experts have warned.

And they are now telling these countries to urgently devise measures to cope with the adverse effects on climate.

Ms Maria Netto, United Nations Development Programme’s Climate Change Policy Advisor, made these revelations and added that these countries would be severely affected despite contributing little toward global pollution.

She pointed out five MDGs at risk of not being achieved if these countries did nothing to curb the emissions of green house gases.

They include eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal education and promoting gender equality. Others are reduction in child mortality and ensuring environmental sustainability.

While addressing journalists on the sidelines of an International Conference of Climate Change in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday, Ms Netto said developing countries faced an imminent reduction in economic growth as a result of these threats.

“This means that food security will be seriously undermined...we have already started experiencing that. The countries will also experience a reduction in children’s ability to participate in full time education, greater prevalence to vector and water borne diseases amongst others.”

“We must therefore come up with concrete plans to curb climate change before it affects all of us in the developing countries.”

More than 1,000 delegates including government representatives, business and industry, environmental organisations and research institutions participated in the talks in Accra.

The talks are part of the UN negotiating process that will culminate in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.