Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Report claims that climate change is slowing China's poverty fighting efforts

Greenpeace and Oxfam released a new study that says that climate change is slowing China's efforts to eliminate poverty. The study focused on three counties within China and shows how weather has effected crops, or in some cases lives.

The irony is that China's investments in energy have done a lot to reduce poverty in the country. However, those same investments have increased emissions. The authors of the report urge China to now cut emissions.

From Reuters India, writer Emma Graham-Harrison was present at the reports release.

One county in southwestern Sichuan is grappling with an increase in torrential rains which have destroyed homes by undermining their foundations and damaged fields.

A second case study looks at a poor corner of southeastern Guangdong province that is troubled by a rise in droughts and flooding -- because when rain does come it is much heavier -- causing crop failure, damage to roads and other problems.

In northwestern Gansu, a third county is suffering from intensified drought that has forced some 34,000 people to leave their homes and left thousands more with limited drinking water.

"The impact of climate change on poor communities is a new phenomenon, a new challenge, in man's fight against poverty," economist Hu (Angang) said.

The impact on people in areas like these, already grappling with problems like remote location and limited resources, may make it harder for Beijing to continue lifting ordinary Chinese citizens out of poverty, the report said.

"Environmental degradation, drought and increased disaster risk and incidence mean that in the future we will have to deal with more and more people falling back into poverty," it said.

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