Brundtland: Use fight against poverty to deal with climate change

By RTCC Staff

Brundtland calls for poverty eradication to boost sustainable development ahead of Rio+20 (source: Mosseby/creative commons)

Poverty eradication should be used as a catalyst for sustainable development and climate action, according to the former Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Brundtland was a key author in the 1987 Brundtland report, which for the first time clearly defined sustainable development.

And she says with the Rio+20 summit in June approaching, the recommendadtions published 25 years ago are still relevant today.

In an interview with The Week she said the political and economic changes needed to face the challenges of climate change were not getting enough support around the world.

“We are still not seeing eye to eye on how this has to be solved. If we continue like business as usual, it is going to be a disaster,” she said.

“So the leaders and populations have to face the challenges in cooperation and by sharing the responsibility for the future.”

“Having said this, in the last [climate] meeting in Durban, everyone, including India, agreed on a framework that included all kinds of countries. But the details – in the coming years how they are going to find a common solution – are still not here.”

She called for action to eradicate poverty to be coupled with action on sustainable development, offering the biggest potential moving forward.

“The climate challenge illustrates how we have to change,” Brundtland said. “The developing countries need more support and opportunities to develop and use clean energy. Because if the current situation continues, then the world will not be able to handle this burden.”

“And that’s why the rich world has to be forthcoming to help change the patterns of development. Because in developing countries, poverty has to be overcome and energy is crucial to this and that means we need more clean energy across the world.”

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