No rethink of development can ignore climate change

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UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliason says that there can be no rethinking of development, that ignores climate change.

“Climate change and development are closely inter-related”, Mr. Eliasson told the closing panel of the European Development days in Brussels.

 Eliasson pointed out that the year 2015 will be critical since UN Member States are expected to agree both to a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda and a new climate deal. 

“Climate change and biodiversity protection needs to be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda”, Mr. Eliasson said. “Any development agenda ignoring this reality will be incomplete... Adaptation and mitigation will therefore be key, as will be the sustainable use of our natural resources.”

The Deputy Secretary-General emphasized that eradicating poverty required “transformational change” in order to hold global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius. “This means changes in the way our economies grow and in our production and consumption patterns, and not least our energy systems”.

Eliasson admitted that financing a sustainable development agenda will not be cheap. “While remaining key, official development assistance alone cannot meet these needs. Innovative sources of financing and good use of domestic resources must also be sought,” he said. The European Development Days are organized by the European Commission.