Climate Change May Force 100 Million People Into Poverty (VIDEO)

A new report from the World Bank finds that climate change threatens to put as many as 100 million people in poverty by 2030. The report, Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Povertyfound that climate change will intensify storms causing an increase in crop failure and spikes in food prices. The World Bank estimates that by 2030, food prices may increase by up to 12% in Africa, and by 2080 food prices could rise by 70%. The report reaffirms just how incredibly devastating climate change has been for the poor, and will continue to do so as time goes on.

“This report sends a clear message that ending poverty will not be possible unless we take strong action to reduce the threat of climate change on poor people and dramatically reduce harmful emissions,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “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.”

Those tens of millions of people are geographically concentrated in the sub-Saharan region of Africa and South Asia. Even though the people who live there have contributed the least amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the fossil fuel industry has decided that they are an expendable sacrifice for their profits. Skyrocketing food prices are but a small price to pay for Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden to receive his $26 million dollar base salary.

Our changed climate’s impact on agriculture will have the greatest detrimental effect on people though healthcare will be the secondary driver of climate change induced poverty. Due to increases in malaria and diarrhea, people and the economies they support will falter. The report suggests that nation’s create and strengthen universal healthcare systems to absorb the shock of the expected rise of illnesses.

As disturbing as the findings of the report are, they come with a silver lining. The goals of fighting climate change and reducing childhood poverty are not antithetical to each other, and policies that aim to fight against climate change may spur more action to reduce poverty. There is also the fact that it currently, 2015 and 2030.

“The future is not set in stone,” said Stephane Hallegatte, a senior economist at the World Bank who led the team that prepared the report. “We have a window of opportunity to achieve our poverty objectives in the face of climate change, provided we make wise policy choices now.”

Looking at reports like these, is a great reminder how the climate is at the intersection of so many seemingly disparate problems. Humanity’s greatest threat has also provided us with a chance to make the world into a far better place for everyone – except maybe a few CEOs.

You can watch a short video that highlights some the challenges climate change presents towards ending poverty.

Featured image via video screen capture