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Climate change imperils global prosperity, UN warns

A new report from the United Nations Development Program warns that if drastic measures are not taken to prepare nations for the impacts of climate change, the economic progress of the world’s developing countries could stall or even be reversed by 2050.

This year’s annual report, approaches the issue of climate change and environmental degradation from the standpoint of economic development and the eradication of poverty,. “Even if someone’s a climate skeptic, this report says, ‘Put that aside for a second,’ ” said William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations agency. “If you believe in something like a moral commitment to the global community and in getting people out of poverty, we must address these environmental problems.”

Each region of the world faces unique challenges between now and 2050, the report warns, but most are linked to environmental complications arising from climate change.

Sub-Saharan Africa could suffer the gravest inequities if the worst-case scenarios come to pass, it adds. Many Africans rely solely on natural resources for their livelihoods and lack a means of coping with environmental hazards like air and water pollution and poor sanitation, the report notes.

Water and air pollution and extreme weather events like drought could be devastating for agriculture, with projections suggesting that maize and wheat production in southern Africa will fall sharply through 2030, the report said.

Read on: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/climate-change-imperils-global-prosperity-u-n-warns/

More about climate change: http://populationmatters.org/issues/environment/climate-change-2/