ISLAMABAD: Almost one billion more people face a life of extreme poverty if world leaders duck key decisions on inequality and climate change at two critical summits this year.
An international coalition of more than 1,000 organizations warned that global poverty could rise for the first time rise in a generation if politicians make the wrong calls, The Independent reported Friday.
The “Action/2015” campaign will target the United Nations summit in New York in September, which will discuss a new agenda to replace the millennium development goals set in 2000, which expire this year.
It is expected to include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change and protecting oceans and forests.
The new campaign will also demand tough action to tackle man-made climate change when UN-led negotiations on a new global agreement reach a climax in Paris in December.
Research for the campaign by the University of Denver shows that, if world leaders get it right, the number of people living in extreme poverty – less than 82p a day – could be reduced dramatically from more than one billion to 360m by 2030.
By then, about 4 per cent of the global population would live in extreme poverty, down from 17 per cent today. This would make eradicating extreme poverty achievable for the first time in history.
However, if the two summits get it wrong, the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase to 1.2bn by 2030 –the first rise since 1993, and 886m higher than if strong action is taken. Under this scenario, one in three of the world’s population would live on under 1.32 a day.
The goals of “Action/2015” include an end to poverty in all its forms; ensuring fundamental rights, tackling inequality and discrimination and speeding up the transition to “100 per cent renewable energy”.