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Climate change and the developing world


Human Development Report
Human Development Report 2011 Source: UNDP

The United Nations Development Program has concluded that the development progress of the world’s poorest nations could level off or even be reversed by the middle of this century if aggressive actions are not taken to mitigate climate change now.  According to a spokesperson for the U.N., this should create a strong motivation for developing countries to take action now rather than later on climate change.  A recent study in Annual Human Development Report states that the countries ranking in the bottom 25% for the Human Development Index (HDI) in 1970 improved their scores significantly by 2010.  If they were to continue at this rate over the next 40 years, these countries could potentially achieve HDIs equal to or higher than the current top 25%.  However, the effects of global warming on weather, food production and pollution have the potential to drop the global HDI 8-15% over this time period, with the most severe impacts being felt in the poorer, developing regions.  The United Nations Development Program claims that cutting CO2 emissions can be achieved without lowering living standards and is now proposing an international tax on foreign exchange trading in order to provide clean electricity the 1.5 billion people in the developing nations who currently live without it.

Gary Monitz

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