Climate change will cause greater humanitarian crises unless we act now
23 June 2009
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight will tell the Global Humanitarian Forum that the effects of climate change will be felt the most by the poorest who lack the resources to protect themselves.
The Global Humanitarian Forum is bringing together concerned leaders at its 2009 Forum in Geneva on June 23 and 24 to formulate a response to the human impact of climate change. The conference is chaired by the Forum’s President, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Lesley-Anne Knight joins Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF to speak at a session on climate change and the consequences for humanitarian relief.
Lesley-Anne Knight will say, “Climate change exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and that is why it is vital for humanitarian organisations to relate climate change to the issue of poverty and to address the factors that make people vulnerable to climate change.
“Organisations such as Caritas will have to expand the work they’re already doing on mitigation and adaptation. We have already seen the value of this work in places such as Bangladesh where we have constructed cyclone shelters that double up as schools and then provide a safe refuge when disaster strikes.”
The Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General will call for a deal at climate change talks in Copenhagen this December to lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide the aid necessary for developing countries to adapt to severe weather caused by climate change.
She will say, “The unpalatable truth is that there will be a price to be paid for a solution to climate change. And that price will have to be paid by the ordinary people of the developed world, who have benefitted from the growth and development that is causing climate change. This means, quite simply, that high consumers will have to accept a reduced standard of living.”
Read Lesley-Anne Knight's full speech
For more information, please contact Patrick Nicholson on 0039 334 359 0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org