Between the Rack and a Hot Place: Can we Reconcile Poverty Eradication and Tackling Climate Change?

About the lecture

By any reasonable definition, the majority of humanity is on the rack of poverty; and a major obstacle to its eradication is the growing threat of extreme and irreversible climate change. The coexistence of a chronic crisis of serious under-consumption for most with an increasingly critical environmental crisis resulting from over-consumption in aggregate can only be explained by extreme inequality in the global distribution of income. Resolving both simultaneously, as envisaged in the Post-2015 Agenda, requires a fundamental reconsideration of the nature and objectives of economic policy, and of the global economic system. The lecture will discuss the extent and implications of global inequality, before building on a number of working hypotheses to outline an alternative model of economic development more conducive to the achievement of these two most fundamental global goals.

About the speaker

David Woodward is an independent writer and researcher on global economic issues and development, and the author of Debt, Adjustment and Poverty in Developing Countries (Pinter Publishers, 1992) and The Next Crisis? Direct and Equity Investment in Developing Countries (Zed Books, 2001). He has been a professional development economist for more than 30 years, working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Executive Director’s Office in the IMF and World Bank, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, Save the Children, Progressio, as well and nef (the new economics foundation) as well as independently and as a freelance consultant. His work has covered debt, structural adjustment, globalisation, trade and foreign direct investment, with a particular focus on linkages between structures, policies and developments at the global level and impacts on poverty and health. He has written articles in journals in the fields of development, health and political economy, as well as many discussion papers, and is also co-editor of Global Public Goods for Health: Economic and Public Health Perspectives (OUP, 2003).