Climate Change could push 100m more people into poverty, report

Climate change is already preventing people from escaping poverty.

According to a new World Bank Group report, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030, without rapid, inclusive and climate-smart development, together with emissions-reductions efforts that protect the poor.

The report: “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty” is released before the international climate conference in Paris later this year.

The report finds that poor people are already at high risk from climate-related shocks, including crop failures from reduced rainfall, spikes in food prices after extreme weather events, and increased incidence of diseases after heat waves and floods.

It says such shocks could wipe out hard-won gains, leading to irreversible losses, driving people back into poverty, particularly in Africa and South Asia.

“This report sends a clear message that ending poverty will not be possible unless we take strong action to reduce the threat of climate change on poor people and dramatically reduce harmful emissions,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Climate change hits the poorest the hardest, and our challenge now is to protect tens of millions of people from falling into extreme poverty because of a changing climate.”

The report finds that the poorest people are more exposed than the average population to climate-related shocks such as floods, droughts, and heat waves, and they lose much more of their wealth when they are hit.

In the 52 countries where data was available, 85 percent of the population live in countries where poor people are more exposed to drought than the average.

Poor people are also more exposed to higher temperatures and live in countries where food production is expected to decrease because of climate change.

The report, released a month before negotiators gather in Paris for international climate talks, shows how ending poverty and fighting climate change can be more effectively achieved if addressed together.


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