It would seem that climate change may have a bigger impact than just damage to the environment. A recent study has shown that climate change could actually force more than 120 million people into poverty by 2030. The study suggests that weather-related events like hurricanes, flooding, or droughts could force people in certain parts of the war to make the tough decision to either move somewhere else or stay and suffer from financial ruin.
The report was generated by the United Nations and it paints a bleak picture as to how climate change affects poor people versus the rich. In short, those with money will pay to get away from increased temperatures, conflict, and starvation while those without the funds will be forced to stay put and suffer.
You don’t have to travel to third-world countries to see this concept in full effect. Consider Hurricane Sandy, which tore through New York City back in 2012. Those citizens who lived in lower-income areas of the city were forced to live without power and government assistance for days. On the other hand, expensive homes and businesses in rich areas like Manhattan were protected by a ton of sandbags and state-of-the-art generators.
Science Journal released a study a couple of years ago that said that even in a country like the United States, the poorest counties would suffer the most, economically, from damaging weather events.
Part of the logic is that poorer communities tend to rely more heavily on agriculture for generating income and unfortunately, agriculture is one of the hardest-hit industries when it comes to weather events like hurricanes and droughts.
The sad truth is that the world’s poorest areas simply don’t have the economy to recover from major weather disasters. As a result, the citizens are forced to stay in the area and only slip into deeper poverty. What makes this situation even more unfortunate is that the most impoverished communities on the planet are responsible for the least amount of emissions.
The most discouraging piece of info is that despite the numerous warnings and studies surrounding global warming, the majority of the countries in the world are not on track to meet their climate goals. It’s time to recognize climate change for the problem it is, as well as its impact on basic human rights.