Prime Minister can't ignore environmental challenges – Christian Aid

Christian Aid is urging the Prime Minister to ensure action on the environment is part of the post-2015 development agenda.

It has joined forces with Greenpeace, the RSPB, WWF and Green Alliance to warn that a future framework for development "won't be fit for purpose" if environmental challenges faced by developing countries are ignored.

A difficult combination of climate change, natural disasters, ecosystem decline and loss of biodiversity are already threatening sustainable development in these countries, they say.

The High-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda meets for the fourth time in Bali next week. It will be working out an ongoing development strategy following the expiration in 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty.

Although progress has been made towards fulfilling the MDGs, the coalition says economic growth in many countries has gone hand in hand with environmental damage and is therefore failing to guarantee sustainable development or tackle the root causes of poverty in the long term.

The coalition said it was disappointed that David Cameron, one of the panel's co-chairs, will not be attending the Bali meeting.

He will instead be represented by Justine Greening. The coalition called for "decisive leadership" on environmental issues at the meeting, and a clear commitment from Mr Cameron to make sustainable, long-term development part of the post-2015 agenda.

The organisations argue this will help developing countries prepare for disasters and climate-associated risks, and make them less dependent on outside help.

Christine Allen, policy and public affairs director at Christian Aid, said: "We will not be able to eradicate poverty over the long term without dealing with environmental challenges.

"This means that the Prime Minister, as co-chair of the High-level Panel, must ensure that action to address environmental and resource challenges is integrated into any future development goals."