Select Committee on International Development Third Report


1. Climate change is a natural process that has been going on for hundreds of millions of years. But human activity is accelerating climate change and the scale of the action needed to tackle it is unprecedented.[1] The adverse effects of climate change could completely undermine development investment. Climate change has its origins in the everyday patterns of production and consumption. It affects everyone and (to varying degrees) is caused by everyone. The impacts of climate change will be felt across political and geographical boundaries.[2] Their significance will depend on location, vulnerability and the ability of human and natural systems to adapt.[3]

2. Our inquiry sought to examine the potential impact of climate change on developing countries and to look at development-focused efforts to tackle global environmental problems. We set out to examine the likely impacts, the extent of current knowledge (especially within DFID) and the extent to which DFID was prepared to respond to the challenge climate change presents. Chapter 2 of this report reviews the science and impacts of climate change in developing countries. It looks specifically at the nature of climate change, factors affecting vulnerability and possible impacts. Chapter 3 looks at actions to deal with climate change including the international negotiations, adaptation and mitigation, disaster mitigation and preparedness, access to energy, the management of climate risk and looks forward to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In Chapter 4, the report examines the links between poverty and environmental issues and between climate change and sustainable development. It looks at the impact of climate change on the Millennium Development Goals before going on to look at the policy responses in developed and developing countries. We have identified several priorities; these are included in our conclusions in chapter 5.

1  Financing Climate Change: Providing Public Goods, preventing public bads, Dr Peter Newell, Institute of Development Studies. An abridged version of this paper appears in Financing and Providing Global Public Goods: Expectations and Prospects prepared for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden by IDS. Back

2  Food in the 21st Century: Global Climate Disparities, Mahendra Shah, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Back

3  Ev 59 Back

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Prepared 23 July 2002