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Extreme weather events will intensify, according to the world's leading climate scientists

A flooded village in South East Asia © EU
21/11/2011  - 

EU Commissioners Kristalina Georgieva (International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response) and Connie Hedegaard (Climate Action) made a joint statement to mark the publication of the IPCC Special Report: Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said: ‘This report serves as a timely reminder of the consequences for us all of the rising tide of disasters provoked by the growing frequency and intensity of extremes in weather. We have responded this year to floods in Pakistan, South East Asia and Central America and the catastrophe in the Horn of Africa as a result of drought. At home in Europe we are also affected; the floods in Italy and Ireland are but the most recent examples.

‘My message is clear: by building resilience into everything we do – integrating our disaster risk reduction policies and practices with how we adapt to climate change – we will all reap the benefits – saving lives, limiting damage and being better prepared in order to be better equipped for the worst that nature can throw at the most vulnerable.’

Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: ‘It goes without saying that this is yet another wake-up call. With all the knowledge and rational arguments in favour of urgent climate action, it is frustrating to see that some governments do not show the political will to act.

‘Carbon emissions reached a record level last year. This can only highlight the worrying inconsistency between what is happening and what should be happening.

‘Governments will have another chance of getting their global act together at the end of this month in Durban. In light of the even more compelling facts, the question has to be put to those governments in favour of postponing decisions: for how long can you defend your inaction?'