EurActiv.com

EU news and policy debates across languages

23/07/2016

How does climate change hit poor countries?

Climate & Environment

How does climate change hit poor countries?

782847693001_4689150451001_thumbnail-for-video-4687717536001.jpg

In 2015, the world reached a historic deal to limit the temperature rise below 2 degrees celsius.

Historically, rich countries are responsible for two-thirds of the CO2 emissions but today, poor and middle-income countries already account for over half of total emissions.

Global warming does far more damage to these countries than industrialised economies.

80% of people exposed to river flooding worldwide come from just 15 countries, all of which are in developing areas.

According to NASA, global sea levels have risen by about 20 cm since 1880, and are projected to rise another 2.5 to 10 cm by 2100.

10 of the 15 largest developing cities are in low-lying coastal areas, vulnerable to rising seas.

But there are other ways in which global warming has a bigger negative impact in the developing world.

It exacerbates the spread of diseases which are more prevalent in poorer countries.

In Africa alone, 90 million more people could be exposed to malaria by 2030 because of rising temperatures.

Weather will also affect farming, one of the main economic activities of developing countries.

According to the World Bank, agricultural yields will be reduced in Sub-Saharan Africa by 15%, and in South Asia by 18%, while in Europe and the US, only by 2% and 1% respectively.

Fighting climate change is a global responsibility. But poor countries will need financial and technical assistance from rich countries to shift to a low-carbon economy, while promoting development and reducing poverty.