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Targeting Zero Zero: achieving zero extreme poverty on the path to zero net emissions

Working papers

Written by Ilmi Granoff, Charlene Watson, Natasha Grist

​The eradication of extreme poverty is, perhaps, the minimum ethical floor for global development efforts and reaching this target by 2030 is a central aim of the global development agenda. Yet even if we achieve this, it will be no great accomplishment if we are incapable of sustaining that achievement once reached. On current trends, the costs of climate change will fall hard on poor people, making it harder for those in extreme poverty to escape it, and threatening to drag the moderately poor (those living on $2 per day) into extreme poverty. Their continued vulnerability may require even greater ambition to ensure the resilience of poverty reductions.

At the same time, curbing climate change to manageable impacts will require the global economy to produce zero net emissions by the end of the century. While this paper focuses on countries with large populations of extremely poor people, the global scale of this challenge means that every country – rich or poor – needs to pursue a trajectory of very low emissions.

This discussion paper is intended to inform and stimulate debate at the Development and Climate Days 2014 at COP20 in Lima, Peru, which will bring together stakeholders engaged in climate talks and those developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has been prepared as a 'work in progress' so that feedback from the Development and Climate Days 2014 will inform an updated version of this paper to be released in early 2015.

Ilmi Granoff, Jason Eis, Chris Hoy, Charlene Watson, Amina Khan and Natasha Grist