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



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