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Fulton writes: "Adding urgency to the call for bold emissions cuts and a radical rethinking of the global economy, a new report from the World Bank warns that human-caused climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty within just 15 years."

Already, global warming is sparking higher agricultural prices; increasing 'natural hazards' such as heat waves, droughts and floods; and exacerbating public health issues. (photo: World Bank/Flickr)
Already, global warming is sparking higher agricultural prices; increasing 'natural hazards' such as heat waves, droughts and floods; and exacerbating public health issues. (photo: World Bank/Flickr)

Climate Change Poised to Push 100 Million Into 'Extreme Poverty' by 2030

By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams

10 November 15


dding urgency to the call for bold emissions cuts and a radical rethinking of the global economy, a new report from the World Bank warns that human-caused climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty within just 15 years.

Entitled “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty,” the World Bank’s study differs from previous efforts by looking at the poverty impacts of climate change at the household level, rather than at the level of national economies.

Already, global warming is sparking higher agricultural prices; increasing “natural hazards” such as heat waves, droughts and floods; and exacerbating public health issues, the report states. Without “immediate” adoption of mitigation, adaptation and emission-reduction policies, the World Bank cautions that rising greenhouse gases—and temperatures—will continue to ravage vulnerable populations, dragging them further into poverty.

The bank’s most recent estimate puts the number of people currently living in extreme poverty at 702 million or 9.6 percent of the world’s population.

“Poor people and poor countries are exposed and vulnerable to all types of climate-related shocks—natural disasters that destroy assets and livelihoods; waterborne diseases and pests that become more prevalent during heat waves, floods or droughts; crop failure from reduced rainfall; and spikes in food prices that follow extreme weather events,” it reads. “Climate-related shocks also affect those who are not poor but remain vulnerable and can drag them into poverty—for example, when a flood destroys a micro-enterprise, a drought decimates a herd or contaminated water makes a child sick.”

For example, the report states that by 2030, crop yield losses could mean that food prices would be 12 percent higher on average in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The strain on poor households, who spend as much as 60 percent of their income on food, could be acute,” the World Bank declares. Meanwhile, in India alone, an additional 45 million people could be pushed over the poverty line by 2030, primarily due to agricultural shocks and increased incidence of disease.

To combat these devastating impacts, Shock Waves recommends implementing a combination of:

  • rapid, inclusive and climate-informed development and targeted adaptation interventions to cope with the short-term impacts of climate change; and

  • pro-poor mitigation policies to limit long-term impacts and create an environment that allows for global prosperity and the sustainable eradication of poverty.

“The report demonstrates that ending poverty and fighting climate change cannot be done in isolation—the two will be much more easily achieved if they are addressed together,” said Stephane Hallegatte, a senior economist at the World Bank who led the team that prepared the report.

Among the report’s specific recommendations are to improve health care systems and access; help households at all income levels gain access to financial instruments for risk management; and provide social protections to help support poor people affected by disasters or environmental and economic shocks.

Noting that “there is still too often a disconnect between bank research and its own practices,” the head of Oxfam International’s Washington office, Nicolas Mombrial, on Monday urged the global financial institution “to heed its own warnings and support equitable, low carbon development” and “promote community resilience to climate change through its policies and programs.”

Furthermore, he said, the report adds further credence to the call for an ambitious agreement to come out of the upcoming COP21 climate talks in Paris. “Any climate deal must commit countries to making their greenhouse gas cuts more aggressive and help vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impacts,” Mombrial said. “It must also promote clean growth by dramatically increasing public finance, building on the yearly $100 billion already promised by 2020.”

“This report further highlights what Oxfam has been warning for many years: climate change is exacerbating inequality and hurting poor people first and worst,” Mombrial concluded. “To effectively solve the climate crisis we must simultaneously tackle the root causes of poverty and hunger globally.” your social media marketing partner


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+8 # Billy Bob 2015-11-10 17:01
I think they're being too optimistic.
+2 # Glen 2015-11-11 08:20
Agreed, Billy Bob. Extinctions are already happening more rapidly now than ever in the past, without a major cataclysm. Human beings are also dying but most don't recognize it for what it is. Too many serious environmentalis ts and those studying the atmosphere has reduced the numbers of years remaining in a viable future.
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 09:32
I think people will go on living, but things are going to get nasty.

There was a future-predicti ng documentary on WorldLink a few years ago called, "Earth 2100"

It's got a lot of the modern cheaply made overly computer-relian t limited animation I hate, but it's still a great movie that depicts a very believable scenario for the life we're leaving our kids and grandkids.

If you haven't seen it already, check it out.

I think it's the most realistic depiction of the future I've seen, and it's not the rosy picture Michio Kaku or Ray Kurzweil like to depict.
+1 # Glen 2015-11-11 12:34
Will watch the documentary. Many have been made, and books written. The books I read in the early '90's, especially The Next 100 Years, were nicely edited collections of contributions by numerous scientists. In that particular book, the research was being done by various scientists working as independently as possible, some working on CO2, some on cfcs, some working on the ozone layer and researching frozen water from thousands of years ago.

By the end of the book, not one individual gave any real hope of decent survival and in fact cut the next 100 years back to 30.

We shall see. Even if humans scramble through the worst of it, survival will be tenuous and harsh. And let us never forget how brutal and predatory fellow human beings can be - so it will be scraping out a living and defending against the worst human beings.
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 14:28
Yeah, it's going to get even uglier.

I think the only hope any of us has is cooperation. I know, right now, that's a dirty word, but if it doesn't happen, anybody's personal stockpile of weapons and groceries is going to be a complete waste of time and energy.
0 # Glen 2015-11-11 14:58
Your comments remind me of a number of moral dilemmas argued in past decades. Remember the moral argument during the bomb shelter era, of either sharing your stores and shortening lives, or turning neighbors away. Post epidemic sharing or not sharing. The story/movie No Blade of Grass is another illustration of preparation for the few.

Most all the folks I know in this area, should a catastrophe occur, expect predators to arrive almost immediately.
0 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 16:47
Well, one thing is certain, we will have a government no matter what. If we could get THAT bull by the horns we could probably ride it out, like a prolonged 100-year Great Depression.

Honestly, I doubt there's very much the average American can do to help anyone in a serious way who currently lives in the 3rd world. The best we can hope for is a stretch:

1. an educated electorate willing to take on our government and shady private interests by using their wits.

2. the luck of having a string of politicians who are real leaders and finally stand up to he military, "security"/poli ce state, and CIA-secret government.

If all of that took place, people in other countries might have a chance to cope. Right now, however, we're too busy annihilating 3rd world countries to steal their oil.

If we don't have a police or government we can trust, you and I will be too weak and old to defend ourselves from the onslaught. In fact, the police will start appearing to white people like they already do to blacks (as another gang). But, even that is nothing compared to what's coming. Expect microscopic drones everywhere in your house without your awareness. Expect more innocent Americans to just disappear.
0 # Glen 2015-11-12 07:28
I've said it in the past: people should have paid more attention to science fiction. Much of what we see now was predicted. Citizen surveillance has been taking place a long time, but yes, it could get worse.

We are assuming here that the atmosphere will remain intact and the environment disasters will not wipe out most of us and render most technology moot. No water, no ability to refine oil, no wind power or the ability to build the turbines, and more, no means of continuing as usual.

The government might carry on, but as a changed system, obviously. If extinction of most does occur it will be impossible to organize and communicate. Folks will be spread throughout the planet, struggling.

I will not be unhappy to bid the planet adieu as a debilitated oldster. I just hope our progeny can handle it all if they survive.
+16 # Activista 2015-11-10 20:12
Climate Change Poised to Push thousand species into the extinction by 2030 with the help of human made pesticides.
If one thinks that dying bees, owls, bats do not matter than there is no understanding of complexity of nature. The dying animals are our indicator species/canarie s in the mine - we (humans) can not escape at the end.
+2 # MidwestTom 2015-11-11 07:02
The world is way over populated.
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 09:26
It's also relying way too much on obsolete fossil fuels.

7 billion people using solar and wind can live much more sustainably than 3 billion using filthy sludge fuels.

But, I'd expect YOU to make this about population control. After all, you are a part-owner of a company that contracts out to the fossil fuel industry. Your bread and butter is earned CAUSING global warming!

So, um, yeah. Look over THERE! It can't be the fossil fuel you rely on for your income, right!?!

When I hear people over 50 years old complaining about over population I keep thinking there's a simple solution. Maybe we could use a few less people like YOU!
-2 # MidwestTom 2015-11-11 09:45
You need to visit Lagos Nigeria, 20 million plus, most living under sheets of corrigated metal. Or Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the streets are filled with young skinny kids, and in the rural areas close to town people will offer their children fro sale. Then combine that with the Muslims push to conquer the world by out- populating everyone else (see recent video of interview with German Muslim on welfare who explains that his four wives will produce over 20 children, while a German man with one wife will produce one or two, all he can afford). The world is overpopulated, and the problem is growing.
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 14:30
Funny you should mention Nigeria, Tom.

It just so happens that there's another article TODAY on Nigeria, and what YOUR industry (the fossil fuel industry) has done to ruin it. It basically blames YOU for much of the devastation.

Here's a link:

Your thoughts?
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 14:37
How about we distribute free condoms, allow people free access to abortions,


WE COMPLETELY ELIMINATE THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS (which would mean your company would no longer make any profit from that industry) …

Are you ok with that, Tom?
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 20:36
+2 # Citizen Mike 2015-11-11 08:48
This is the beginning of the process of population reduction and infrastructure collapse that will drive the surviving remnant of the human race back into the stone age. The previous highly advanced civilization caused massive climate change 12 thousand years ago and then collapsed in the same way.

That is the earlier civilization half- remembered as "Atlantis" which was capable of producing maps of ice-free Antarctica, and left us a few out-of-place artifacts. For details see the books of Graham Hancock.

So that is the deal with Homo Sap: Every 12 thousand years or so civilization rises slowly, builds up to the point of advanced technology, pollutes the planet to the point of catastrophic climate change and then collapses. That is our cycle and probably has been since we first appeared in our modern form 200 thousand years ago. It's where legends of a "Golden Age: and "Lost Civilizations" come from.
-5 # Jump Off Joe 2015-11-11 10:02
Um, how much fossil fuel was burned in order to melt all the ice on Antarctica 12,000 years ago? What were the names of the oil companies/coal mining companies?

I think you've been reading fantasy tales.
+3 # Glen 2015-11-11 12:22
How long did melting take in past eras? How many human beings were alive at the time?

Change and melting is happening rapidly now, more so than in the past. Mass extinctions are already progressing, water diminishing, food diminishing, air being polluted beyond what it can recover from.

THAT didn't happen 12,000 years ago.
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-11-11 14:34
Yep, Malcolm,

Glen pretty much punched holes in your lame theory.

By the way, ever heard of the Permian Extinction? Yes, as it turns out, there IS a precedent to what we're doing now. During the permian extinction event (the most sever extinction event in Earth history that wiped out 95% of all Earth's species), matters were made much much much WORSE because the super-volcanoes in Siberia were sitting near huge COAL deposits.

I think you haven't been reading any science, Malcolm.
+2 # ChrisCurrie 2015-11-11 12:10
In addition to the impoverishment and deaths created by climate change, if implemented, President Obama's dishonestly promoted TPP/TTIP/TiSA so-called "trade agreement" authorizing greedy multinational corporations (and investors) to sue all three levels of our government for alleged "losses of expected future profits" in corporately run internationals tribunals will end up impoverishing and/or killing an additional 100 million or 200 million people (including at least half of the US population) thereby making President Obama the "deadliest man on earth" so far in this century!

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