17 September 2010
Speaking in advance of the UN summit to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals between 20-22 September 2010, Friends of the Earth's Director of Policy and Campaigns Craig Bennett, said:
"If we fail to tackle climate change and halt the loss of the Earth's natural environment - the life support system we all depend on - then we will fail to eradicate poverty. It's as simple as that.
"The world's governments are failing to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals because they aren't recognising that development and environmental protection go hand-in-hand.
"The failure of rich countries to curb their emissions, or provide adequate funding for developing countries to tackle global warming, means that its impacts are already affecting the lives of millions of the world's poorest. Continued deforestation is fuelling climate change and depriving people of the food, fuelwood and clean water forests provide.
"Left unchecked, these environmental problems will condemn hundreds of millions to a life of unrelenting poverty battling unpredictable weather, floods and droughts, the loss of their livelihoods and increasingly scarce fresh water supplies.
"It's time for rich countries to fulfil their responsibility to lead in tackling climate change and to protect the natural environment - they must cut their emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 without offsetting, and provide sufficient public funds to enable developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change already wreaking havoc on their people."
Notes to editors:
1. Friends of the Earth is supporting the campaign for a tax on financial transactions - a Robin Hood Tax - to provide finance for developing countries to develop cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change. For further information visit www.robinhoodtax.org.uk
2. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. Over 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk
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