Climate Change and Vulnerable Societies: Achieving Sustainable Security

December 22, 2009

CGD senior fellow David Wheeler testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment about the potential effects of climate change on vulnerable societies. Wheeler urges Congress to view climate change preparedness broadly and focus U.S. assistance on human and institutional development.

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From Wheeler’s testimony:

"In thinking about climate change and development we need to be aware of three facets of vulnerability: worsening weather, investments in preparedness, and the inevitable tradeoffs associated with poverty.

"We need to acknowledge a fundamental truth about vulnerability to dangerous climate change. Wherever and whenever it occurs, we can be sure of one thing: The most resilience will be displayed by countries that have paid serious attention to sustainable economic and human development, particularly for women…Rededicating ourselves to these clear, attainable objectives will probably do more to reduce climate vulnerability than anything else we can do."

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