Rich Countries Should Take 'Moral Responsibility', says Christian Aid

( [email protected] ) May 16, 2007 03:22 PM EDT

Christian Aid recently noted that rich countries should take "moral responsibility" for the effects of their carbon emissions.

According to a Christian Aid Scotland spokesman, people are underestimating the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on third world populations.

The charity has published a report forecasting a global migration crisis due to the effects of climate change.

The report says about 250 million people will be displaced by 2050.

In an interview with BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, the charity's national secretary Gavin McLellan said it was important to distinguish between the people normally regarded as refugees, and those who are forcibly displaced within their home countries due to conflict or natural disasters.

He said: "One of the more frightening aspects of climate change is migration because of it's potential to fuel conflict, and this is where it becomes a security issue.

"We are seeing an increasing prevalence of drought and of flooding, so many more millions of people are vulnerable to increasing severity and frequency of disasters."

He added that rich countries needed to recognise the effects of their high rates of carbon production.

"The moral responsibility is on the rich countries to start preparing a fund to mitigate against future disasters.

"We need to be compensating the poorest countries in the world who are bearing the brunt of climate change by paying for it with their lives."

In addition, Mr McLellan noted that the UK's climate change bill was not enough.

"We in the UK need to have a binding target, a carbon budget for the UK and also for the world to have a proper framework for reduction of emissions and carbon dioxide, and also to have a fund up and running to help poorer countries adapt."