“Climate change is a global issue, but the world’s least developed and other poor countries are the most vulnerable to the possible effects of climate change,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). “Therefore, a partnership with the European Union, like the Global Climate Change Alliance, can indeed be a way forward, since its benefits will also be global,” he told participants at the European Development Days event in Lisbon, Portugal. Mr. Jarraud welcomed the Initiative to establish a Global Climate Change Alliance between the European Union and poor developing countries most vulnerable to climate change, which was proposed by European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance Louis Michel. Projections show that least developed and vulnerable countries, along with small island developing States, will be the hardest hit by climate change. “These countries have much fewer resources to prepare accordingly,” Mr Jarraud said. “If their populations must leave their livelihoods behind due to sea level rises or a lack of drinking water for example, millions will be forced to migrate to other regions of the world, including Europe.” The new initiative can help millions in the developing world respond to the impacts of climate change, such as water shortages and migration. As part of its mandate, WMO is tasked with helping countries, particularly in the developing world, mitigate and adapt to climate change and prevent related extreme weather events from turning into natural disasters. 7 November 2007A planned partnership between the European Union and developing countries will help millions of the world’s poorest to tackle the effects of climate change, the head of the leading United Nations agency on weather and climate issues said today.