A unique coalition of aid and environment groups, launched in October 2004 to battle the unprecedented threat climate changes poses to human development, today published its second report. Africa: Up in Smoke? makes it clear that Tony Blair's efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa will ultimately fail unless urgent action is taken to halt dangerous climate change. The report says that G8 nations have failed to 'join-the-dots' between climate change and Africa. Unless addressed, this could condemn generations in the world's poorest nations. The G8 summit can choose to act now, or see human development gains go up in smoke, the coalition warns.

The report, with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, details the impact that climate change is already having on Africa and the threat it poses to human development. Africa: Up in Smoke? calls for new and deeper emission cuts in rich countries, and for the G8 to make significant new funds available to help poor countries adapt to the impacts that are already being felt.

As a continent, Africa lives on the front line of global warming. Seventy per cent of the workforce rely on mostly rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods and climate change is already disrupting these vital rains - bringing more droughts and floods.

The coalition believes that an either/or approach to climate change and poverty reduction is not an option, the two are inseparable. The recommendations laid out in Africa: Up in Smoke? are essential if the G8 is to make poverty history, the coalition warns. The report says climate change means that Africa needs a new approach to development based on resilient and locally-owned strategies. It also means that a new approach to economic development is needed in the G8 based on an agreed framework for emissions cuts that goes far beyond the targets laid out by the Kyoto Protocol.

Africa: Up in Smoke? says that the UK government has failed to understand the full extent of the problem and failed to meet commitments to crucial funds that have already been established to help the poorest countries deal with climate change. Recent reports that carry the government's stamp of approval are blighted with the same fatal blind spot as the G8 agenda: they fail to recognise the scale of the threat climate change poses to human development.


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