Center for American Progress

Development Groups and Other Organizations Gather to Tackle Climate Change Impacts on Developing Countries
Press Release

Development Groups and Other Organizations Gather to Tackle Climate Change Impacts on Developing Countries

At Summit, Groups Call for Action on Global Warming

Washington, DC – At a summit in Washington today, development, environmental and other groups, together with faith-based leaders, are calling for action to address the devastating impacts that developing countries will face from climate change.   

In the wake of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that highlighted the serious harm that global warming poses for poor countries, organizations and speakers at the summit are pressing the United States and other countries to address this growing crisis.  The keynote address at the summit is to be given by Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 

The summit is being sponsored by Friends of the Earth U.S., ActionAid International USA, Oxfam America, Center for American Progress, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Oil Change International, Jubilee USA Network, and the U.S. Climate Action Network.  Quotes from the sponsoring organizations are below.

The event can be viewed live on a streaming video weblink at 

Speakers at the summit include Dr. Joel Hunter, senior pastor of the Northland Church in Florida and prominent evangelical leader; John Carr, Secretary for Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress; Meena Raman, President of Friends of the Earth International; Saleem Huq, a co-author of the recent IPCC report; and a special taped video presentation from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.  Speakers will be available for interviews.   

Quotes from sponsoring organizations

“The time has come to acknowledge that global warming is the worst case of  environmental injustice ever seen on our planet.  Wealthy countries and major polluters are the most responsible for climate change, so they must also take the greatest responsibility for addressing the harm inflicted on developing countries,” said Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth U.S. 

"Climate change will have devastating impacts on food producers, most of whom in Africa are women, and on the poor communities most vulnerable to weather-related disasters,” said Peter O’Driscoll, Executive Director of ActionAid International USA. 

“There must be more collaboration among environmental and development agencies on strategies to adapt to and mitigate the worst impacts. ActionAid is excited to help address that need through this conference.” 

"While developed countries are responsible for the bulk of historical emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it is the world’s poorest people who will feel the worst impacts,” said Oxfam America President Raymond C. Offenheiser.  “The U.S. and other countries must not stall when it comes to taking action to reduce their emissions, and we have a moral responsibility to help poor people cope with the growing impacts of climate change."

"Given the current political and public attention on energy, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make policy changes, not just out of necessity but out of moral urgency," said John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.  "How we power our economy, how we protect our climate, and how we treat the world’s poor, are all matters of social justice and the United States needs to take the lead on these important issues – we owe developing nations this much."

“Industrial countries, the biggest climate polluters, are still acting as if their energy and climate policies and their aid and development policies could be dealt with separately,” said Liane Schalatek, Associate Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Washington, DC.  “They finally need to take responsibility, skip the rhetoric and realize that their most effective development aid to poorer countries in the long run is for the U.S. and the EU to stem their greenhouse gas emissions.”

"Instead of focusing on fighting energy poverty and kick-staring a clean energy revolution, we’re channeling billions of dollars in foreign assistance into the pockets of oil companies every year," said Graham Saul, International Program Director for Oil Change International. "It’s time for a new energy path."