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Climate change - we've got 10 years


The UN Human Development Report 2007/2008 is a rousing call to arms, which firmly positions climate challenge as the most pressing moral issue of our time. Rich nations and their citizens account for the overwhelming bulk of greenhouse gas emissions locked in the Earth's atmosphere. But poor countries and their citizens will pay the highest price for it, as decades of development work are rolled back, destroying any chance of a sustainable future. Allowing the tragedy of climate change to happen, argues the Report, would represent such a systematic violation of the human rights of the world's poor and of future generations, that it would be "an outrage to the conscience of mankind". Passionately and eloquently, it hammers home its central message: that the world lacks neither the financial resources nor the technological capacities to act - if we fail to address climate change, it will be because of a simple lack of political will. And such an outcome, says the report, would represent "not just a failure of political imagination and leadership, but A MORAL FAILURE ON A SCALE UNPARALLELED IN HISTORY." We are at a crucial stage in the battle to protect the world’s people from rising temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere. We need nothing short of a revolution in the way we run our economies, the way we produce and consume, and the way we measure human welfare. Governments urgently need to redefine security, and to recognise that climate change poses by far the greatest threat to our own security, and to that of future generations. And as the quotation from Martin Luther King at the front of the report reminds us: “There is such a thing as being too late”. The world has less than a decade to change

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