The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Mitchell, Oxfam International Media Officer
tel: +44 1865 339 8157
mob: +44 7796 993 288

Sea Level Rise Spells Increased Likelihood of Disaster for the World's Poorest People


New science which predicts
a rise in sea levels of one meter or more by the end of the century
would spell disaster for the some of the world's poorest people,
international agency Oxfam International said today (10 March 2009).
The new forecasts, announced at an international meeting of climate
scientists in Copenhagen, are based on research conducted since the
IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report which predicted a rise of 18-59
centimeters - less than half that predicted today. Scientists at the
meeting said island states and populous delta areas in Bangladesh,
Myanmar, South East Asia and Africa would be most at risk from sea
level rise.

Rob Bailey, Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam
said: "These startling new predictions on sea level rise spell disaster
for millions of the world's poorest people. Poor coastal communities in
countries such as Bangladesh are already struggling to cope with a
changing climate and it can only get worse. This must be a wake-up call
for rich countries are not doing anywhere near enough to prevent these
cataclysmic predictions becoming a reality. Rich countries, who created
the climate crisis, must cut their emissions from 1990 levels by at
least 40 percent by 2020 and provide the $50 billion that is the
minimum needed each year to help the world's poorest people adapt to
the unavoidable impacts of climate change."

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.