This summary highlights some of the main findings from five years of work by the Up in Smoke coalition.

The group represents an unprecedented coming together of leading environmental and development organisations. Their conclusions reveal the threat from global warming to reverse progress in human development and render the Millennium Development Goals unachievable.

When the first Up in Smoke report was published to widespread media interest, some still doubted the relevance of climate change, considered an environmental issue,’ to human development and poverty reduction. In the five years since the reports began, global warming has become understood as possibly the greatest threat faced by our generation.

Events such as Hurricane Katrina have forced people to recognise the vulnerability of humans to the impacts of climate change and have shown clearly that climate change is not a future issue but a current problem. It has become clear that unchecked climate change has the potential to undo all the development achievements of the last decades.

The Up in Smoke reports began with the intention of producing one short briefing. Now, together, they would make a very long book. For ease of reference we have produced this short summary. It reveals the comprehensive nature of threat we face, and the need for a collective, rapid and equally comprehensive response.

The recommendations drawn together in this summary point to the urgent need for new development models. The Up in Smoke coalition is exploring such new models and its next report will begin to lift the lid on the nature and scale of the necessary reimagining of the global economy.