UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, will join the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials in Poznan, Poland, to discuss ways of adapting and mitigating against global climate change problems.
Since the last climate change meeting Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007, Mr. Ban said the world had seen even more compelling evidence why action had to be taken now. Devastating recent events like the tropical cyclones in Myanmar and the Caribbean, widespread flooding in India and China, and drought in Africa highlighted the vulnerability that people all over the world face, he said in a statement.
“It is clear that those who suffer the most from the increasing signs of climate change are the poor. Those that have contributed the least to this planetary problem continue to be disproportionately at risk,” he said.
“As we meet in Poznan [UN Climate Summit COP-14, Poznan, Poland, 1-12 December 2008] we are witnessing the confluence of a series of events that threaten the very fabric of the international system and human and ecological security of individuals everywhere,” the Secretary-General said citing “high and volatile” food and energy prices which he said had thrust at least 100 million people back into poverty.
Congo, Liberia. Flooding due to Climate change (Photo courtesy of UN-HABITAT)
“With the global financial crisis, and the recession that is following it, these numbers are likely
to rise,” he said. “We risk that all the efforts that have been made by countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to alleviate poverty, hunger and ill health will be rolled back.”
As part of the United Nations-wide contribution in Poznan, UN-HABITAT, through the Cities in Climate Change Initiative, will highlight the role of cities and the potential of local action in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is being done by promoting the dialogue between the different levels of government, well as linking local action plans with national action plans within the framework of international agreements. [For details of The UN-HABITAT programme in Poznan, Poland, click here.]
A process of mobilizing local governments started Bali last year when United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Metropolis, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the C40 Climate Leadership Group, and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, started to seek recognition of cities and local governments in a UN framework on climate change.
In UN-HABITAT will highlight the voice of cities in UN seminars focusing on adaptation, capacity building and climate-induced human displacement and migration. These are important components for the development of a new post-2012 climate agreement, which is expected to be concluded in December 2009 in Copenhagen during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15).
See also http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_14/items/4481.php