BERLIN -- A United Nations expert on poverty says hundreds of millions of people around the world face hunger, displacement, disease and death because of climate change.

In a report released Tuesday, the UN's independent expert on extreme poverty and human rights said current measures to cope with global warming fall far short of what's necessary. Philip Alston, an Australian jurist, predicted dire consequences even in a best-case scenario.

Alston told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the world economy needs a "fundamental shift" away from fossil fuels, which are blamed for much of the man-made greenhouse effect.

Alston says the impact climate change will have on basic human rights hasn't been given due attention "yet it represents an emergency without precedent."