November 14 , 2007

World in Transition 4

Fighting Poverty through Environmental Policy


At the start of the 21st century, fighting poverty and protecting the environment are two of the most urgent challenges facing the international community. Environmental changes will jeopardize people's survival to an even greater extent in the future, and will hit the poor hardest. To meet these challenges, it will be essential to breathe new life into the partnership between industrialized and developing countries. It will be equally essential to combine poverty reduction with environmental protection in an integrated policy structure spanning all levels from local to global. In this report, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) shows that global environmental policy is a prerequisite for global poverty reduction. WBGU analyses the relevant policy processes and delivers recommendations charting the way forward. 'With its interdisciplinary approach, providing a complex and systematic analysis of the poverty-environment nexus, WBGU's latest report breaks new ground. Indira Gandhi's old, convenient maxim was 'Poverty is the biggest polluter'. Put forward at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, it has been sorely misused ever since to override environmental precaution and prioritize economic development strategies instead. The new WBGU report maps out a way to shape a coherent environment and development policy. This report revitalizes the Rio spirit and gives it a robust scientific base'. Prof Dr Ernst Ulrich von Weizs�cker, Member of the German Bundestag (MdB)
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