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Human Development Report 2007-2008

Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World

image of Human Development Report 2007-2008
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity at the start of the 21st Century. Failure to meet that challenge raises the spectre of unprecedented reversals in human development. This year’s Human Development Report explains why we have less than a decade to change course and start living within our global carbon budget. The Report explains how climate change will create long-run low human development traps, pushing vulnerable people into a downward spiral of deprivation. Because climate change is a global problem with global causes and effects, it demands a global response with countries acting on the basis of their historic responsibility and capabilities.

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Foreword

What we do today about climate change has consequences that will last a century or more. The part of that change that is due to greenhouse gas emissions is not reversible in the foreseeable future. The heat trapping gases we send into the atmosphere in 2008 will stay there until 2108 and beyond. We are therefore making choices today that will affect our own lives, but even more so the lives of our children and grand children. This makes climate change different and more difficult than other policy challenges.

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