Climate change puts millions at risk of falling into poverty, World Bank warns

Media Releases article written on the 10 Nov 2015

The World Bank’s recognition that climate change and poverty are undeniably connected is welcomed by Oxfam. In its new report, the Bank warned that more than 100 million additional people could be pushed into poverty by crop failures, floods, hunger, and other shocks linked to climate change.

Oxfam’s Climate Change Policy Advisor Kelly Dent said the report provides solid evidence for what agencies have seen in the communities they work.

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

“Unfortunately, there is still too often a disconnect between Bank research and its own practices. It is crucial for the Bank to heed its own warnings and support equitable, low carbon development. It must also promote community resilience to climate change through its policies and programs.”

The report, “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty,” says the need for an ambitious and durable climate agreement in Paris that addresses the needs of poor and vulnerable communities as they build low-carbon, climate-resilient economies is becoming increasingly urgent.

Ms Dent said further cuts to greenhouse emissions were vital to support vulnerable communities.

“Any climate deal must commit countries to making their greenhouse gas cuts more aggressive and help vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impacts. It must also promote clean growth by dramatically increasing public finance, building on the yearly $100 billion already promised by 2020.”  

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