Climate Change Aggravates Poverty

Climate change affects not only the environment but also brings unpredictable, extreme weather and ‘human-induced natural disasters,’ threatening the lives of billions, aggravating poverty and rendering poverty reduction efforts futile.

 

  • In the past 20 years, disasters caused by extreme weather events have increased four-fold1.
  • 90 per cent of global warming is attributable to anthropogenic activities2. Each year, over 200 million people suffer from climate-related disasters and more than 90 per cent of the victims and casualties are in impoverished countries and communities3.
  • A disaster of the same magnitude, expecting to induce a casualty of 23 people in a developed country, would result in an average casualty rate of 1052 in a developing country4.

 

Why the poor are hardest-hit

  • Living in unstable or feebly-constructed homes, with scant protection against floods and storms
  • Lack of resources to protect personal security, livelihood and properties
  • Insufficient public health facilities and support, lack of clean, potable water and food resulting in higher risk of epidemic.
  • Remote and dispersed homes with insufficient warning systems, making rescue work difficult
  • Limited knowledge and resources on preventive measures, and often with no option to evacuate or resettle

 


Notes: 

1. Data from Oxfam Report Weather Alert
2.
IPCC 2007 Report
3. Data from Oxfam Report Weather Alert
4.
Data from Oxfam Report Weather Alert