World Bank Warns Climate Change Could Add 100 Million Poor By 2030
Without the right policies to keep the poor safe from extreme weather and rising seas, climate change could drive over 100 million more people into poverty by 2030, the World Bank said on Sunday.
In a report, the bank said ending poverty – one of 17 new U.N. goals adopted in September – would be impossible if global warming and its effects on the poor were not accounted for in development efforts.
But more ambitious plans to reduce climate-changing emissions – aimed at keeping global temperature rise within an internationally agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius – must also cushion poor people from any negative repercussions, it added.
“Climate change hits the poorest the hardest, and our challenge now is to protect tens of millions of people from falling into extreme poverty because of a changing climate,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.
The bank’s estimate of 100 million more poor by 2030 is on top of 900 million expected to be living in extreme poverty if development progresses slowly. In 2015, the bank puts the number of poor at 702 million people.
Climate change is already hurting them through decreased crop yields, floods washing away assets and livelihoods, and a bigger threat of diseases like malaria, said John Roome, World Bank senior director for climate change.
He described ending poverty and tackling climate change as “the defining issues of our generation”.