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ECOSOC Special Event on Climate Change and Development

2 May 2008, 10.00 am – 1.00 pm, ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that global warming is unequivocally the result of human activities and that the consequences of global warming are worsening. Climate change is it not a far-off prospect. It is already happening and, given the inertia of climate change, is here to stay.

Against the backdrop of compelling evidence on climate change, a rising tide of public concern and powerful declarations of political will to tackle this global challenge, ECOSOC devoted a Special Event on how to address the growing risks posed by climate change to the timely realization of the development goals. The outcome of the meeting serves as an important input to the forthcoming ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, which will focus on sustainable development.

It will be poor communities, which generally contributed least to climate change that will suffer most from its negative effects. Investment in adaptation and mitigation will be needed to strengthen the ability of the poor to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. While it will not be possible to avert all negative impacts of climate change on development, they can be minimized by integrating adaptation measures into development planning. At the same time, mitigation efforts are needed that will prevent anthropogenic gases from harming the climate.

The event feature a panel on “Learning to cope with climate change” and on “Reducing the world's carbon footprint ”.


  • Léo Mérorès (Haiti), President of the Economic and Social Council [welcoming remarks in English / French]
  • Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs [opening remarks]
  • Mr. Andrew C. Revkin, science writer, New York Times [moderator]
  • Mr. Andrew Simms, Policy Director and Head of the Climate Change Programme, New Economics Foundation (NEF), London; [statement], [powerpoint]
  • Professor Ogunlade Davidson , Dean, Post-Graduate Studies, University of Sierra Leone and Co-Chair, Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); [powerpoint]
  • Professor Ji Zou, Vice Dean, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Head, Department of Environmental Economics and Management, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China; [powerpoint]
  • Ms. Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi [powerpoint]
  • Mr. Mark B. Goldfus, Senior Vice President and Director, Public Policy of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York. [statement]
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