December 16, 2009 – Original Source: Space Daily
A UN expert on the right to food said Wednesday that climate change represented a “ticking timebomb” that would hit the poorest countries and those who struggled to feed themselves the hardest.
“Climate change is a ticking time bomb for global food security,” said United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter as the UN climate summit in Copenhagen struggled to reach agreement.
“We know that the impacts of climate change will be felt disproportionately by some of the poorest countries and the most vulnerable within those countries,” he added in a statement.
“And we know that small scale farmers and indigenous peoples, as well as those who depend on land for their livelihoods, will suffer most.”
However, De Schutter cautioned that some measures aimed at countering climate change could also be harmful, after finding that some projects for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) had violated human rights.
The UN expert said local populations were sometimes displaced to clear land for tree-planting projects intended to offset emissions from power plants in western countries, while investments in crop-based biofuels have had the same impact in some instances, the UN expert said.
“This is not a theoretical debate. There are real cases of violations of the right to food linked to climate policies,” he said.
The CDM was set up under the Kyoto protocol to allow industralised nations to take stake in emission-reduction projects in poor nations and trade them to meet part of their emission reduction targets.
The Copenhagen summit is aimed at extending and expanding on Kyoto, by laying out the outlines of a broader accord on curbing carbon emissions that cause global warming.
It is also aimed at crafting a mechanism to provide billions of dollars for poorer countries in the firing line of climate change.