Hi, I’m Kit Vaughan, Director of CARE’s Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network. I was born and brought up in Tanzania and now dedicate all of my efforts to tackling climate change, recognising we owe it to current and future generations to solve the most important issue of our time.
Hi, I am Ruth Fuller I Co-Chair Beyond 2015 in the UK. Beyond 2015 is a global campaign aiming to influence the creation of a post 2015 development framework that succeeds the current UN Millennium Development Goals. Beyond 2015 brings together more than 700 civil society organisations in over 100 countries around the world. I also work for WWF-UK where I advise on International Development Policy.
Here’s a big-picture question to kick off the debate: How would you say climate change has fared in the post-2015 process so far?
Hello there.this is Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, which focuses on how climate change affects the poorest and the steps we can take to address that. I'm looking forward to this debate.
To answer the first question: The Beyond 2015 process so far, together with the recent High Level Panel report, has made great progress to date, but it’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Overall, climate change has not been addressed prominently enough in the beyond 2015 discussions – and still there are no clear solutions as to how sustainable energy goals, or holding global temperatures to 2⁰C, and helping people adapt to climate impacts will be achieved – especially as we are now on a pathway to 4 degrees+ of global warming. We need a radical shift in our global political economy.
Definitely, the speed and scale of progress toward climate goals seems far too slow....
Hi Megan, to answer your starting question: I am encouraged by the recent report by the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, which placed a strong emphasis on the need to get serious about climate change - – it is recognised as a cross-cutting issue which could have huge impacts on development gains. To quote from the report: ‘climate change will determine whether or not we can deliver on our ambitions’; ‘we must fight climate change’.
The report also reflected Climate Justice thinking. For example: ‘People living in poverty will suffer first and worst from climate change’; ‘Many people living in poverty have not had a fair chance in life because they are victims of…..climate change…..’
My Foundation (mrfcj.org) is passionate about climate justice, and so is encouraged that the High Level Panel acknowledges the injustices that climate change is causing to those people least responsible for it.
Hi, in response to your first question, Climate change is already undermining current gains in poverty reduction and threatens future development progress. The post 2015 framework must support urgent action on climate change. The High Level Panel report has a strong narrative on climate change but is weak in the goals and proposed targets and indicadaptation to climate change hardly gets a mention. Nor does the report recognise the differing responsibilities that countries have in causing climate change and the need for financing and technology transfer packages to account for this historic responsibility.
Here are some suggestions about what can be done:
How big a problem is lack of joined-up thinking on dealing with all the problems - food security, disaster risk reduction, climate change, poverty reduction - together?
• increase the focus on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people especially women and vulnerable girls
• increase awareness about the global north’s responsibility and liability for causing climate change, both currently and in the past
• reiterate the need for the global north to show bold leadership on tackling climate change and take early action to do so
• fully recognise that tackling climate change is integral to delivering effective, lasting and sustainable development
• fully recognise that global poverty will never be eradicated unless we begin the rapid transition towards a low-carbon and climate resilient economy, right now.
Hi Stella, great question - yes, climate justice must be the foundation of any equitable response to climate change that seeks to eradicate poverty
One thing that plenty of people think would address climate as well as other development goals: Making sure women who want to plan their families have access to contraception.....
There is also quite a lot of talk in the High Level Panel Report about changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, but this is a monumental task. How we do even begin with this when our economies are largely premised on consuming more?
Yes, we have to stop unsustainable patterns of consumption, and still have a good quality of life. We need greater efficiency and less waste, particularly food waste. New habits have to start early, particularly in schools and colleges, to prepare a new generation for sustainable habits.
On the consumption question ... I think this is one of the most important issues a post 2015 framework needs to addrses. The HLP report claims that ‘business as usual’ is not an option, but when it comes to economic growth, its narrative is contradictory. The welcome messages on sustainable consumption and production are at odds with the prominence placed on growth as the solution to poverty, and the report fails to address high-impact, high-consumption lifestyles and the issue of redistribution of wealth and resources. The report asks developed countries to urgently ‘re-imagine their growth models’, but falls far short of calling for the current model of international trade, business regulation and foreign direct investment to be realigned in the interests of people and planet instead of profit and growth. I think this is where a lot of energy needs to be focused in the next steps of the post 2015 process.
Hi Laurie - I agree, but would also bring out gender dimensions, both of climate change and of development. MRFCJ helped UN Women and others to get the principle of gender balance into the climate conference at COP18, in Doha. We must also ensure that the SDGs reflect the need for full equality, and the High level Panel propose a separate goal: Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality.
I think climate change needs much more political attention across all fora and in all parts of the world.
The way we are negotiating and doing business now will not be enough to avoid dangerous climate change. We need to raise climate change up the political agenda and keep it there. Climate change is not just about climate – it is about how we live and how future generations will live.