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World Leaders Address Climate Change, Water, Food Security At Events On Sidelines Of U.N. General Assembly

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday at an event hosted by Qatar on the sidelines of the 67th General Assembly meeting “called again for urgent and concrete action on climate change, as high-level officials gathered at the United Nations to discuss the growing global concern over the impacts of the phenomenon on food and water security,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “Climate change is making weather patterns both extreme and unpredictable, contributing to volatility in global food prices, which means food and nutrition insecurity for the poor and the most vulnerable,” the news service writes, noting Ban “has made food security a top priority through the Zero Hunger Challenge he launched at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June” (9/27).

The humanitarian organization DARA on Wednesday released a report commissioned by 20 governments that estimates “[m]ore than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change,” Reuters reports. The report “calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies,” and that number would increase to six million annually by 2030 if current trends and practices continue, according to the news service (Chestney, 9/25). On Monday at a U.N. roundtable discussion on water security, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “said the need to develop solutions for future water needs is a ‘moral imperative and a strategic investment,’” IIP Digital reports, adding, “The issue has ramifications in other critical national needs, she noted, citing health, food security, energy and climate change” (9/26).