BALI, Indonesia, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Collective
action is the only option to achieve an equitable climate deal by 2009, said a
U.N. official here on Wednesday.
"Sustainable human development must be our moral
compass and practical goal," said U.N. Under Secretary General Ad Melkert at the
high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference here.
"We must bring emissions down while, at the same
time, bring clean and affordable energy to 2.6 billion global citizens," said
Mr. Melkert, who is also the associate administrator of the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP).
Adaptation is about "climate-proofing" development.
The need to radically expand capacity and investment in adaptation is urgent,
but the potential returns are even higher. Development assistance to reduce
risks of disaster will deliver seven times higher returns than post-disaster
relief, said the UNDP official.
"We are significantly expanding our assistance to
developing countries to reduce their vulnerability to climate risk by helping
integrate adaptation into national development strategies and institutions," he
Across the globe a seismic shift in scenarios for
energy, forestry, industry, infrastructure, and transportation is needed. The
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a critical innovation in global burden
sharing but despite its success, the CDM fails to reach the most vulnerable.
"It has taken two centuries for emissions to
accumulate to today's level of unsustainable risk. We may have one decade left
to stem the tide. The key responsibility to lead by example rests with the rich
countries. They must address unfulfilled commitments and set new obligations.
Developing countries must respond by joining a global compact for strong climate
action, as partners and beneficiaries," he said.
The Human Development Report states that if every
poor person had the same lifestyle as the gas guzzling richest we would need
nine planets to absorb the world's carbon.
"The world can not afford to make irreversible
mistakes this week. We do not have nine such planets. We have one planet and one
decade," said the U.N. official.