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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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The 21st century climate challenge

Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean is one of the most remote locations on Earth. The gigantic stone statues located in the Rono Raraku volcanic crater are all that remain of what was a complex civilization. That civilization disappeared because of the over-exploitation of environmental resources. Competition between rival clans led to rapid deforestation, soil erosion and the destruction of bird populations, undermining the food and agricultural systems that sustained human life. The warning signs of impending destruction were picked up too late to avert collapse.

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