Climate change is a serious risk to poverty reduction and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This is because its negative impacts are more severely felt by poor people and poor countries, which rely to a higher extent on natural resources and have a limited capacity to cope with climate variability and extremes (see contributions by Devereux and Edwards, Denton, Huq and Reid, Rogers and Scoones, this Bulletin, for lengthier discussions about adaptation impacts).
Moreover, if climate change is ignored in today’s development efforts, gains in poverty reduction may not be sustainable in the longer perspective. Given the way climate change cuts across the development agenda, it is important that responses are conceived within and in coherence with existing development frameworks, rather than in isolation from them. In other words, responses to climate change need to be fully integrated into mainstream development activities.
Climate change is also a useful reminder of why environmental issues as a whole need to be taken into account in development activities. Indeed, the integration of environment into European Union (EU) development cooperation is an obligation under Article 6 of the EC Treaty, 1 and the EC’s Development Policy 2 identifies environment as a cross-cutting issue, which needs to be integrated into all priority themes in order to make development sustainable (see Newell, this Bulletin).
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 35.3 (2004) Climate Change and Development: The Role of EU Development Cooperation