Leo Brincat – Climate change adaptation a central issue in development

Minister says “vulnerable groups” most threatened by climate change

The Minister for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Leo Brincat, said that efforts must be made to integrate climate change adaptation into the development process.

Brincat was speaking at a conference on climate change, '2015 and Beyond: What is the future of development and development education in Malta?' which was held this morning at Dar Ewropa in Valletta.

"We do not need to see a post-2015 scenario unfold before reaching the stark and clear conclusions that the link between climate change and development exists and has existed for many years," he said.

"In order to counter the threats of climate change to development, we need to foster more proactive policies that address the need for climate change vulnerability, resilience, knowledge and learning," he said.

Brincat stressed that the vulnerable groups in society, such as the ones with low-incomes, were the people most affected by climate change.

"We do not need to await fresh earthquakes or tsunamis to go in search of fresh evidence. It is a given that climate change is already affecting the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, who often lack the robust systems and capacity needed to cope with such concerns," he said.

Brincat believed that these people should be "central to the rapidly expanding climate change research and policy agenda".

"Future international climate change regimes must be built on principles of equity. They must deliver dramatic carbon reductions and must establish low carbon development pathways. Most importantly, they must provide funding mechanisms that actually reach the most vulnerable people," he said.

The minister also said that such policies must be carried out on a global basis and not only locally.

Whilst Brincat said that he felt "reassured" that the issue of climate change was now reaching various levels, such as the World Bank Group, he stressed that it was the role of the politicians to give science more credibility. In doing this, Brincat believed that "we will be on a safer road to recovery and redemption".

"The scientific evidence makes it clear that climate change is a fundamental threat to economic development and the fight against poverty.  All that is needed now is the political will, to ensure that we really believe in all that we may be talking about," he concluded.