The UNDP’s Human Development Report released on Tuesday highlights the impact climate change is likely to have on poverty and the attempts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It notes that ‘In today’s world it is the poor that are bearing the brunt of climate change’. Failure to tackle the issue ‘will consign the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population – some 2.6 billion people – to a future of diminished opportunity. It will undermine efforts to build a more inclusive pattern of globalisation, reinforcing the vast disparities between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots”.
The report draws an analogy with the ‘fight against the much higher inflation rates of the distant past’, in which institutions were found, such as more independent central banks, that allowed lower inflation to be achieved despite the short term economic difficulties encountered. Of course, the problem with that is that the efforts to tackle high inflation had the support broadly of the middle classes, whose interests were directly affected. As the HDR itself states, however, with climate change at present it is not the middle classes that are being particularly adversely affected, althought they will be in the long run.
The report can be found here.
In the Human Development Index this year, Iceland comes out top. The UK is in 16th place, just ahead of Belgium.