UN Report Calls for More Funds to Combat Global Warming

01 September 2009

Smoke is seen rising from chimneys of the largest metal working company in Bulgaria (File)
Smoke is seen rising from chimneys of the largest metal working company in Bulgaria (File)
The United Nations is calling for billions of dollars to be spent by governments to fight climate change and greenhouse gasses to stem rising global temperatures.

A United Nations report released Tuesday calls for major spending of nearly $600 billion by governments to deal with the impact of global warming.

The report, Promoting Development, Saving the Planet, said that up to $1 trillion a year would be needed to deal with issues of climate change in the future.

The report also said that climate change cannot be battled by relying exclusively on cutting emissions or market-based solutions.

It said the global community needed to be as serious about committing resources "on the same scale" to combating global warming as countries were during the the rescue of global economies during the financial crisis.

Noeleen Hayzer, executive secretary of the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) says climate change remained "the biggest challenge faced by this generation."

"Climate change challenges us all to find a new development paradigm that balances economic growth and long-term prosperity with social progress and ecological sustainability. If we don't address the challenges of climate change an increasing number of nations and their peoples will be pushed into poverty - never has there been a greater call for global solidarity," he said.

The report calls for stronger steps to be taken by advanced economies to reduce carbon emissions, seen as the main cause of global warming. It says since the adoption of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, policies designed to deal with the threat of dangerous climate change, are lagging "far behind" the scientific evidence.

The agency report called for the need to adapt to an increase in more intense hurricanes in the Caribbean, above-average warming impact on glacier-dependent river flows in Central Asia, and droughts affecting fragile economies in North Africa.

Tiziana Bonapace, a senior economist with the UNESCAP
Tiziana Bonapace
Tiziana Bonapace, a senior economist with the UNESCAP, says developing countries need financial aid to assist them in developing low-emission technologies and agriculture methods and ensuring poverty reduction policies are maintained.

"Development is a right and that should continue but that perhaps - paths where there could be a reconciliation of the objective of poverty reduction, enhanced standards of living, a life of greater dignity in developing countries - can be reconciled with climate objectives by shifting the sources of energy away from the fossil fuels to the cleaner and lower carbon emissions. But it costs money," said Bonapace.

The report comes in the lead up to the December meeting of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, to agree on a new climate pact before the end of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.