World Devlopment

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Strictly embargoed until 2 November 2011, 7:00 AM EDT (New York), 11:00 AM GMT (London)

Environmental trends threaten global progress for the poor, warns 2011 Human Development Report • Health, income advancement in developing countries jeopardized by inaction on climate change, habitat destruction, Report shows • Wealth and gender disparities linked to environmental hazards Copenhagen, 2 November 2011—Development progress in the world’s poorest countries could be halted or even reversed by mid-century unless bold steps are taken now to slow climate change, prevent further environmental damage, and reduce deep inequalities within and among nations, according to projections in the 2011 Human Development Report, launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here today. The 2011 Report—Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All—argues that environmental sustainability can be most fairly and effectively achieved by addressing health, education, income, and gender disparities together with the need for global action on energy production and ecosystem protection. The Report was launched in Copenhagen today by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whose new government has pledged to reduce Denmark’s CO2 emissions by a dramatic 40 percent over the next 10 years. As the world community prepares for the landmark UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, the Report argues that sustainability must be approached as a matter of basic social justice, for current and future generations alike. “Sustainability is not exclusively or even primarily an environmental issue, as this Report so persuasively argues,” Helen Clark says in the foreword. “It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the seven billions of us here today, as well as for the billions more who will follow, for centuries to come.” UNDP has...