Patna: Renowned British economist Nicolas Stern today said climate change and poverty posed two major challenges before the world.
"Global warming, climate change and poverty have emerged as two critical and defining problems of the world and its economy, and neither of the problems should be taken lightly," he said at the Global Summit on Changing Bihar here.
The vagaries of climate change were affecting the entire world and would lead to relocation of billions of people, which would cause conflict over food and water, Stern said.
Observing that all countries have been collectively negligent in managing global warming and climate change, he said that none of us can postpone plans to deal with it.
Explaining the urgency to act now, the British economist, who is also an expert on environmental issues, said global warming can even lead to loss of water.
Referring to squabble among countries for reduction in emission of carbon and other effluents, Stern said that those countries which have been emitting more should take the lead in reducing emission.
Technology and better energy efficiency were helping in emission cuts, he said.
He slammed Western countries for giving subsidies to the tune of USD 300 billion for use of fossil fuel and said that it was wrong as these fuels "benefited only the rich and the
Stern suggested that the subsidy should instead be used to check global warming and climate change.