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Development and climate change

Hearing in the European Parliament on climate change and EU development policies

Climate change is an enormous challenge for development and will make it more difficult to achive the first Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

Last year the Commission proposed to launch a Global Climate Change Alliance between the EU and the LDCs (Least Developed Countries) and SIDS (Small Island Developing States). It has 2 main purposes:

  • promoting a political dialogue between the EU and the poorest countries
  • facilitating the integration of climate change concerns into poverty reduction plans

The Commission earmarked €60 million for the GCCA for the period 2008-2010. This sum is very limited since the estimation of annual adaptation costs in developing countries is between 50 and 80 billion USD! The huge financial gap in this regard was underlined during the hearing.
Another concern is the plethora of initiatives and financial mechanisms in the area of climate change adaptation/development resulting in inefficiencies.

The hearing made also clear that there is a lack in understanding what "Adaptation" means and therefore a need to define it while making it the priority in developing policies.

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