CIWEM predicts climate winners and losers

Although climate change will affect us all, a sustainable future can be achieved if we use the current economic situation to review our social, economic and environmental attitudes.

Consideration must be given to the relationship between economic growth, consumption and population.

These are the conclusions of CIWEM's Future Prospects Group's 2050 Vision.

Compiled by CIWEM's Past Presidents and other invited contributors, their vision for an integrated response to critical environmental issues aims to assist and inform long-term strategies and policy evolution.

The report contends that at this time of re-assessing our wealth expectations, there can be benefits to the environment with new efficiencies and savings.

CIWEM's Future Prospects Group calls on the UK Government to commit to developing an appropriate skills pool that underpins both environmental and economic sustainability, something which they failed to do in the recent budget.

The Chancellor's green investments are predictably small in comparison to other commitments, many of which will add to the UK's emissions burden, and totally inadequate to meet the challenges of climate change.

But if we delay or do not take action, the consequences for us all are likely to be major.

Significant loss of life, economic instability and an increased risk of conflict are all avoidable but only through concerted and sustained global efforts.

The uncertainty element in climate change predictions requires a flexible response, which suggests the value of a mix of strategies that includes adaptation responses, mitigation strategies, technological development and research.

CIWEM's Future Prospects Group encourages the inclusion of environment and climate change matters into the curriculum for citizenship development, and urges other professional bodies to play a key role in information sharing and awareness-raising.

Speaking at the 2050 Vision launch presided over by Colin Challen MP, Chair of CIWEM's Past Presidents' Group, Peter Treadgold, said: "Society is preparing to deal with the legacy of a remarkable time in human development.

"To expect that response and change can be without impact is wrong - there will be winners and losers. We have set our Vision for the environment at 2050, to give the current generation, especially those in leadership roles, information about the strategic choices they may have to make, and to let them know that they will be held to account."

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