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Polar Times

Climate is a north/south challenge

The Polar Environment Times spoke to ØYSTEIN DAHLE about the recent international climate debate on the rise of sea levels from ice melting on the poles due to increased global temperature and the consequences to developing nations like Bangladesh. By Øystein Dahle

“We, in the western world, have not sufficiently recognized the fact that the changing climate is a north/south problem. We have already seen a number of the climate related extreme weather events around the world and we know that these changes first and foremost will hurt the developing nations. In the Western part of the world we have resources to meet any kind of challenge from for example rising sea levels. But in the developing world no such resources are available and the victims will be the many poor and unprotected people”, Mr. Dahle says.
He mentions two possible strategies in which the world can deal with these issues: “The first is the adaptation strategy, in which the world accepts that we in the future will have to deal with more frequent extreme weather events. We prepare ourselves, make sure not to settle in vulnerable areas, and we adapt in different ways. This strategy equals a defeat: We are giving up too easily.

ØYSTEIN DAHLE is director of the board for the World Watch Institute and member of the GRID-Arendal Board of directors.