Oxfam estimates that adapting to climate change in developing countries is likely to cost at least $50bn each year, and far more if global greenhouse-gas emissions are not cut fast enough. Yet in the year that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its direst warnings to date, the rich and high-polluting countries increased their contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for urgent adaptation needs by a mere $43m. With evidence thus far suggesting that rich countries are unlikely to provide the scale of adaptation finance needed on a voluntary basis, the establishment of new finance-raising mechanisms will be an essential point of discussion in Bali. In this report, Oxfam presents delegates with a number of points to consider in terms of the adaptations required.
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There are major shortcomings in the pharmaceutical industry’s current initiatives to ensure that poor people have access to medicines. To shore up its own flagging economic performance, the industry is increasingly looking to the potentially huge markets within emerging economies. Yet, poor people who live in these countries still desperately lack affordable and appropriate medicines. The time is ripe for a bold new approach. The industry must put access to medicines at the heart of its decision-making and practices. This is both a more sustainable long-term business strategy and would allow the industry to better play its role in achieving the universal right to health.
Climatic disasters are increasing as temperatures climb and rainfall intensifies. A rise in small- and medium-scale disasters is a particularly worrying trend. Yet even extreme weather need not bring disasters; it is poverty and powerlessness that make people vulnerable. Though more emergency aid is needed, humanitarian response must do more than save lives: it has to link to climate change adaptation and bolster poor people’s livelihoods through social protection and disaster risk reduction approaches.
The human drama of climate change will largely be played out in Asia, where over 60 per cent of the world’s population, around four billion people, live. The latest global scientific consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that all of Asia is very likely to warm during this century. Warming will be accompanied by less predictable and more extreme patterns of rainfall. Tropical cyclones are projected to increase in magnitude and frequency, while monsoons, around which farming systems are designed, are expected to become more temperamental in their strength and time of onset. This report asks, will global warming send Asia and the Pacific ‘up in smoke’?
In January of this year, the European Commission published its Renewable Energy Roadmap, proposing a mandatory target that biofuels must provide ten per cent of member states’ transport fuels by 2020. This target is creating a scramble to supply in the South, posing a serious threat to vulnerable people at risk from land-grabbing, exploitation, and deteriorating food security. This briefing note argues that it is unacceptable that poor people in developing countries bear the costs of emissions reductions in the EU.
The process by which countries become members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is complex and involves negotiations on a wide range of issues. It is important that trade negotiators, and also civil society and non-government organisations, from prospective member countries have a thorough understanding of what the process involves. How does the process of gaining WTO membership work? What have been the experiences of countries that have recently gone through the process and become Members of the WTO? How can a country better prepare for membership? These are questions that this paper will attempt to answer.
The aims for the UNFCC meeting in Bali must be ambitious if the crises resulting from global warming are to be addressed without massive loss of life, suffering and damage to life-sustaining ecosystems. It is still feasible that global temperature rise could be kept below 2°C, but time is running out.
It’s one of the oldest tactics – divide and rule. It may be predictable, but it is still highly effective. It is being used in trade negotiations between the European Union and the fourteen Pacific Island Countries. By the end of this week, the EU hopes that its tactics will have succeeded and that the Pacific will have signed a far-reaching Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Africa suffers enormously from conflict and armed violence. As well as the human tragedy, armed conflict costs Africa around $18bn per year, seriously derailing development. The most commonly used weapons in Africa’s conflicts are Kalashnikov assault rifles. The vast majority of these weapons and their ammunition – perhaps 95 per cent - come from outside Africa. To protect lives and livelihoods, the 2008 UN Group of Governmental Experts working on the Arms Trade Treaty must ensure swift progress towards a strong and effective Treaty. All governments have a role to play in ensuring its success. Foreword by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.