Climate change, poverty and empowerment

Today is Blog Action Day. And I’ve spent most of the day up at the Oxfam offices in Oxford working on the website for a new campaign project aiming to really raise the positive debate about Climate Change in the media when world leaders meet in Poland this December.

Why, you may ask, when this year’s Blog Action Day is asking people to write about the gross injustice of widespread Poverty in our world, am I starting a post about Climate Change? Surely I’m a year late. And, what’s more, some people might (indeed do) say, ‘Why is Oxfam working on a Climate Change campaign website? Oxfam is about alleviating poverty not about stopping Climate Change!’.

Well – I was a first curious, when, as a member of Oxfam’s Youth Board I discovered the charity was putting a large amount of it’s campaigning effort into climate change – but then I saw the Sister’s on the Planet films – and the whole thing became a lot clearer.

The challenges of alleviating global poverty are compounded by climate change. Climate change hits the poorest first and hardest. And those in poverty are the least empowered to act. Which is why we have to understand the global issues we face as connected. But the connections between poverty, disempowerment and climate change also offer us space for change and space for action. And action has never been more urgent.

00256299.jpgBTW: that last link is to a new book out from Oxfam – ‘The Urgency of Now’ – based on Duncan Green’s masterpiece ‘From Poverty to Power‘. You can read it online, or order in hard copy for £4 or so – but if you’d like a free copy, drop me a line and I should be able to get one or two copies to you…

4 thoughts on “Climate change, poverty and empowerment”

  1. There are a lot of connections to poverty and climate change, so you are definitely right on the mark. For example, as Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and Mangari Maathai highlighted there is a strong connection between deforestation and poverty (as I discussed here based upon a recent event they did: Both the causes and the solutions to deforestation are intertwinned, as one example.

  2. I am 100% in favor of global warming. I can think of nothing so healing to the planet than to have 500 billions of trillion of fresh water come down and wash out all of our lakes and rivers.

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