Climate change through a poverty lens

Abstract

Analysis of the economic impact of climate change typically considers regional or national economies and assesses its impact on macroeconomic aggregates such as gross domestic product. These studies therefore do not investigate the distributional impacts of climate change within countries or the impacts on poverty. This Perspective aims to close this gap and provide an assessment of climate change impacts at the household level to investigate the consequences of climate change for poverty and for poor people. It does so by combining assessments of the physical impacts of climate change in various sectors with household surveys. In particular, it highlights how rapid and inclusive development can reduce the future impact of climate change on poverty.

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Figure 1: Number of additional people in extreme poverty in 2030 because of climate change, in the four scenarios.
Figure 2: Climate change impacts through each of the five channels, sampled from 1,200 scenarios in 92 countries.
Figure 3: Income loss caused by climate change for the poorest 20%, as a function of income of the bottom 20% in the baseline in 1,200 baseline scenarios in 92 countries.
Figure 4: National private household income losses (%) due to climate change in 2030, in 1,200 baseline scenarios in 92 countries.
Figure 5

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the contributions and feedback from the core author group of the Shock Waves report, including Mook Bangalore, Laura Bonzanigo, Ulf Narloch, Tamaro Kane, David Treguer, and Adrien Vogt-Schilb. The report was produced with guidance and under the supervision of Marianne Fay and John Roome. Guidance was provided by the report's peer reviewers: Carter Brandon, Richard Damania, Francisco H. G. Ferreira, Masami Kojima, Andrea Liverani, Tamer Rabie, Emmanuel Skoufias, and Mike Toman. Purnamita Dasgupta, Stefan Dercon, Kristie Ebi, Chris Field, Michael Oppenheimer, and Youba Sokona also contributed as external advisors to the author team.

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SH and JR developed the methodological approach and the model, and wrote the manuscript. JR implemented and ran the model, performed the statistical analyses of the results, and generated the figures.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Julie Rozenberg.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Hallegatte, S., Rozenberg, J. Climate change through a poverty lens. Nature Clim Change 7, 250–256 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3253

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