Climate Change Hits the Poor Hardest. Here’s How to Protect Them.
Climate change and poverty are inextricably linked
December 6, 2020 Climate change is already damaging the planet, increasing the intensity of heatwaves, floods, and drought, causing billions of dollars worth of damage. However, climate change won’t affect everyone equally.
While everyone worldwide feels and experiences the effects of climate change, the poor get affected the most.
Environmental change hits the poorest people hardest, those living in the endangered zones with the least resources to help them feel difficulty in recovering quickly from the shock. As the impacts of climate change exacerbate, getting away from poverty becomes very tough.
Extreme weather conditions, floods, water shortages, and natural hazards threaten the lives of poor people. The poorer the people, the harder it is for them to recover from homelessness, hunger, work, and health crises.
The reasons why low-income people may face the biggest impacts because they often rely upon outside work like agriculture or depend on regular capital to survive. With less government support, It’s not easy for them to rebuild or restart their life.
The Relationship Between Climate Change and Poverty
Despite international efforts, countries like Africa, Asia, and Bangladesh are the most affected by climate change. The poor people of these countries don’t have a house to live in, food to eat, and fresh air to breathe. At the time of crises, poor people are forced into negative coping mechanisms to survive. For example, girls can be forced to drop out of school because their families can no longer afford their needs.
Scientists have long predicted that warmer temperatures caused by climate change will have the biggest impact on the world’s poorest. I am not arguing that climate change creates inequality. My point is, the people most likely to have lost out financially, physically, and mentally have done the least to contribute to the problem.
Intergovernmental Panel approved the special report on global warming on Climate Change. If the global temperature rises by 1.5°C by the end of the century, poor countries will likely face more challenges than developed countries.
McKinsky, working with the climate scientists from the Woodwell Climate Research Centre, examined 105 countries and found that every one of them could experience socioeconomic impact from climate change by 2050.
Three Example illustrate the Regressive Nature of Climate Change
1. Extreme Heat and Humidity in India and other Emerging Markets
Global warming is causing extreme heat and humidity in several parts of the earth. According to climate science, the possibility of experiencing heat waves in India is higher than in other countries.
Nearly 160 to 200 million people in India rely upon the regions that could experience heat stress by 2030.
Outside work, which represents half of India’s GDP, could also be limited as warmth and humidity levels increase. Excessive heat during work creates an occupational health risk. It restricts workers’ abilities, productivity, and efficiency. The effects of increasing temperature are felt differently across occupations and employment. Like, agriculture and construction workers are expected to be worst affected.
When it comes to the impact of rising temperature due to climate change, the lowest-income group, small-scale and subsistence farmers, and casual workers in urban areas are affected the most.
It’s not just India; countries worldwide are required to lose efficiency and working hours because of rising heat and humidity.
2. Increased of Volatility and Agriculture Yields
Maze, corn, rice, wheat, pulses are the most widely used crops in the world. The crop is one that both rich and poor people rely upon. The warmer temperature by the end of this century will reduce yields throughout the world. And due to that, crop volatility is expected to increase.
Consider yield declines. Climate change could trigger harvest failure in different breadbasket areas. Given current high gain stocks, the world would not run out of the grains, but the farmers’ income depends on these yearly yields could be affected. This would hurt 750 million people who are living in an international poverty line.
3. Rising Flood Risk for Vulnerable Population
Climate change is increasing the intensity of flooding. Both coastal and inland communities are finding themselves under the water. Now you may be thinking, how does climate change lead to flooding? A warmer temperature holds and subsequently dumbs more water. Basically, because of global warming, when it rains, it pours more. The study determined these rains were at least 40% more likely and 10% more intense due to climate change.
Poverty is itself physical weakness, isolation, vulnerability, and powerlessness. Poor people often live in risky environments, and their houses are made with low-quality material; they more likely to struggle to recover.
I hope now you understand poor communities are more vulnerable to extreme weather events, like those associated with climate change. As a human, it’s our responsibility not to disturb the others lives in the sake of our happiness. Before purchasing any plastic product, throwing wastage in the rivers, burning fuel for no reason, thinks about the poor people.