US Climate and Health Alliance

Shocke Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty


Ending poverty and addressing climate change are the two defining issues of our time. Both are essential to achieving sustainable global development. But they cannot be considered in isolation. This report brings together these two overarching objectives and explores how they can be more easily achieved if considered together. It demonstrates the urgency of efforts to reduce poverty and the vulnerability of poor people in the face of climate change. It also provides guidance on how to ensure that climate change policies contribute to poverty reduction and poverty reduction policies contribute to climate change mitigation and resilience building. Our studies show that without action, climate change would likely spark higher agricultural prices and could threaten food security in poorer regions such as SubSaharan Africa and South Asia. And in most countries where we have data, poor urban households are more exposed to floods than the average urban population. Climate change also will magnify many threats to health, as poor people are more susceptible to climate-related diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. As the report points out, poverty reduction is not a one-way street. Many people exit or fall back into poverty each year. The poor live in uncertainty, just one natural disaster away from losing everything they have. We need good, climate-informed development to reduce the impacts of climate change on the poor. This means, in part, providing poor people with social safety nets and universal health care. These efforts will need to be coupled with targeted climate resilience measures, such as the introduction of heatresistant crops and disaster preparedness systems.

Resource Type
Stephane Hallegatte Mook Bangalore Laura Bonzanigo Marianne Fay Tamaro Kane Ulf Narloch Julie Rozenberg David Treguer Adrien Vogt-Schilb
Resource URL
Series Title
Climate Change and Development Series
Organization Type
Health and Human Impact
Climate and Environmental Impact
Vulnerability assessment

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