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Posted on on January 27th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (

UK lawmakers’ report on post-2015 development goals ignores climate change.

FIELD response to report of UK Parliament’s International Development Committee –
FIELD is the Foundation for International Environmental Law on Development.

25 January 2013
The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee released the report on its inquiry into post-2015 development goals this week.
The report fails to recognize climate change and its impacts on poor and vulnerable countries and communities as one of the most challenging development issues of today.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has called climate change “one of the single biggest challenges facing development”. Poor African countries, small islands and low-lying coastal states are among the most vulnerable. Climate change will impact essential areas such as health, food security and water resources.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) views climate change as “one of the defining challenges of our time”, which will affect human development in all parts of the world, hitting the 2.6 billion poorest people the hardest. Yet the International Development Committee’s conclusions make no reference to climate change.

The report contains good points. For example, it highlights the needs of the poorest people and the importance of their views. It recognizes important issues such as governance, job creation and health.

Also, the committee recommends merging the development agenda beyond 2015 and possible successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the proposed new sustainable development goals under discussion following the Rio + 20 Conference, rather than having two sets of goals.

FIELD agrees: “sustainability” and development should not be treated separately. Nor should climate change and development.

FIELD believes that climate change, poor and vulnerable countries should be a priority in post-2015 discussions. This should include tackling unavoidable loss and damage from climate change.

Jeffrey Sachs has explained why rich countries should pay for climate change: it is their fault, climate change is a development issue and without help poor countries cannot get on to a low-carbon development track. FIELD agrees.

Joy Hyvarinen, FIELD’s Executive Director, says “climate change is a threat to development and human security. It should be part of any discussion about the UN’s development agenda right from the start and vulnerable countries and people should be at the centre. The lack of progress in the international climate negotiations makes this increasingly important.”


Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD)
Third Floor
Cityside House
40 Adler Street
London E1 1EE
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7096 0277
Registered charity no. 802 934
Company Limited by Guarantee and Incorporated in England and Wales Reg. No. 2463462

FIELD’s response to a a UK lawmakers’ report on post-2015 development goals, which ignores climate change, is available at –

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