Eileen Clarkson, a mother of two from Glasgow who works for Oxfam, explains why her recent trip to Nicaragua convinced her that western countries have to take responsibility for the effects of climate change on the developing world.
I have recently returned from a trip from Nicaragua - a beautiful country which has the unhappy distinction of being the second poorest in the Americas - to look at the work being done there by Oxfam.
Oxfam works to help communities prepare for future disasters
While there, I learned directly from Nicaraguan colleagues how devastating the effects of unpredictable weather conditions caused by climate change could be. Their accounts were unsettling and moving.
This is a country which has always been vulnerable to freak weather conditions, but now the problems it faces are rapidly intensifying. My Nicaraguan colleagues fully expect crises caused by weather to become annual occurrences rather than unusual ones.
Melvin Garcia, a community leader of La Carreta in the north of the country, described the devastation recent floods had caused.
As we listened to her, it was heard to believe that this part of the world ever saw any rain. The landscape around us was arid and dusty, and lacked the lushness of other parts of Nicaragua.
But earlier in the year it was a different story as 51 days of unrelenting rain took their toll.
Floods claimed crops, with some local farmers losing up to 80% of what they planted. Homes and wells were destroyed.
With the flood waters came a plague of rats, which urinated in the water, making the community and its animals and livestock ill with the life-threatening disease, leptospirosis.
"They ate everything, our crops, even our shoes," explains Melvin Garcia. Left with so little to eat, their children lost weight dramatically.
Even without the floods, La Carreta is a poor community. Of the 751 people who live in and around the area only seven are employed, all in low paid jobs.
The rest live off the land and what they produce is crucial for their survival. Local people do not have the resources to implement the changes needed to combat the effects of climate change.
They have to rebuild their lives and come to terms with the fact that they have lost houses, livestock and food.
It is increasingly clear that climate change is creating climate poverty in developing countries, with the world's poorest the first and hardest hit.
One of the Oxfam Nicaragua team explains their work
When we think of climate change most of us think of melting polar ice caps, warmer weather and hurricanes.
Few of us consider the world's poorest communities who have to deal with the devastating consequences of extreme weather on their homes and livelihoods.
There is an onus on all of us to address climate change. Each of us can make changes in our own lives that will help fight climate poverty and encourage our governments to take strong action.
The puff of white smoke from December's UN Climate Change Conference in Bali shows that there is some commitment to address the problem; a roadmap was drawn up for all countries to tackle climate change.
However, some of the world's richest countries are dragging their feet.
And while both the Scottish and UK Governments are progressing Climate Bills that signal real commitment to tackling the problems, strong rhetoric from politicians needs to be backed up with equally strong actions.
It's not just communities in Nicaragua that are suffering - Oxfam predicts that by 2050 up to 30 million people may be hungry as a direct result of climate change.
We need to realise that by addressing the challenges of climate change, we are also facing up to our responsibility to help the world's poorest communities.