Climate change, economic development, and global equity

Inside Stanford Earth. Photo credit: iStock. An analysis by Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke shows that warming that has already happened — 1 degree Celsius or 1. Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke. A new Stanford University study shows global warming has increased economic inequality since the s. Meanwhile, the gap between the group of nations with the highest and lowest economic output per person is now approximately 25 percent larger than it would have been without climate change.

Although economic inequality between countries has decreased in recent decades, the research suggests the gap would have narrowed faster without global warming.

They demonstrated that growth during warmer than average years has accelerated in cool nations and slowed in warm nations. The opposite is true in places that are already hot. The estimates in the paper capture the range of outcomes delivered by those thousands of different routes.

Tropical countries, in particular, tend to have temperatures far outside the ideal for economic growth. For these and other temperate-climate nations, the analysis reveals economic impacts of less than 10 percent. Countries with high historical emissions are among those that have enjoyed the highest per capita GDP and fastest economic growth since the s, while those with relatively low historical emissions have seen per capita GDP decline. While the impacts of temperature may seem small from year to year, they can yield dramatic gains or losses over time.

While the biggest emitters enjoy on average about 10 percent higher per capita GDP today than they would have in a world without warming, the lowest emitters have been dragged down by about 25 percent.

The researchers emphasize the importance of increasing sustainable energy access for economic development in poorer countries. Analysis shows global warming is intensifying the occurrence of unprecedented hot spells and downpours faster than predicted by historical trends. New approaches for incorporating global warming into extreme weather analysis could improve global risk management.

Skip to main navigation. Climate change has worsened global economic inequality. Earth Matters Climate Change. Human Dimensions and Sustainability. Clock April 22, Know your planet. Subscribe Stanford Earth Matters Magazine. Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke A new Stanford University study shows global warming has increased economic inequality since the s.

Lifted up or dragged down? Explore more. Navigate to Summer reading: Illuminating our planet and paths toward sustainability. Climate change means more extreme weather than predicted Analysis shows global warming is intensifying the occurrence of unprecedented hot spells and downpours faster than predicted by historical trends.

Navigate to Climate change means more extreme weather than predicted. What if we could convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel?Climate change is an emerging threat to global public health.

climate change, economic development, and global equity

It is also highly inequitable, as the greatest risks are to the poorest populations, who have contributed least to greenhouse gas GHG emissions. The rapid economic development and the concurrent urbanization of poorer countries mean that developing-country cities will be both vulnerable to health hazards from climate change and, simultaneously, an increasing contributor to the problem.

We review the specific health vulnerabilities of urban populations in developing countries and highlight the range of large direct health effects of energy policies that are concentrated in urban areas. Common vulnerability factors include coastal location, exposure to the urban heat-island effect, high levels of outdoor and indoor air pollution, high population density, and poor sanitation. There are clear opportunities for simultaneously improving health and cutting GHG emissions most obviously through policies related to transport systems, urban planning, building regulations and household energy supply.

These influence some of the largest current global health burdens, including approximatelyannual deaths from ambient urban air pollution, 1. GHG emissions and health protection in developing-country cities are likely to become increasingly prominent in policy development. There is a need for a more active input from the health sector to ensure that development and health policies contribute to a preventive approach to local and global environmental sustainability, urban population health, and health equity.

Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly, should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year, and what effects each of them produces for they are not at all alike, but differ much from themselves in regard to their changes.

Then the winds, the hot and the cold, especially such as are common to all countries, and then such as are peculiar to each locality. In the same manner, when one comes into a city to which he is a stranger, he ought to consider its situation, how it lies as to the winds and the rising of the sun; for its influence is not the same whether it lies to the north or the south, to the rising or to the setting sun.

Emissions of the greenhouse gases GHGs which cause climate change are currently determined mainly by consumption patterns in cities of the developed world. For example, the agriculture sector increasingly produces and transports food and fiber for urban populations in rich countries. Currently, populations of low- and middle-income countries have a much lower impact on the global environment.

However, while the impact of each individual citizen in developing countries will remain lower than in developed country counterparts for the foreseeable future, these populations are simultaneously urbanizing, growing, and increasing consumption rates.

In the clearest example, China is poised to overtake the USA as the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide before These trends have two major implications for public health. First, they require a reconsideration of policies to protect health from climate-related threats in cities of the developing world.

Decision makers would therefore benefit from assessments that can assist them to select development policies that can bring synergies or optimize trade-offs between protecting the local and global environment while also bringing health gains. The IPCC has assessed that the global mean temperature is likely to rise by 1. These will cause a range of health impacts.

It also concluded that these impacts are likely to increase in the future. The rapid urbanization of the global population calls for a consideration of how these trends apply to developing-country cities. These are characterized by low incomes, poor housing and provision of basic services, and no effective regulation of pollution or ecosystem degradation.

This number is projected to increase to roughly 2 billion by These result from lowered evaporative cooling, increased heat storage and sensible heat flux caused by lowered vegetation cover, increased impervious cover and complex surfaces, and possibly from heat trapping by elevated levels of locally produced CO 2.

climate change, economic development, and global equity

Heat waves can cause dramatic impacts on urban health. The most striking example was the extended period of record high temperatures 14 experienced in Europe in summerwhich was made significantly more likely by human-induced climate change. They are also exposed to the more frequent severe windstorms and floods that some studies are already linking to past 1920 and future climate change.

Heavy rains therefore often result in intense, and sometimes lethal, flash floods, such as those that occurred in and around Caracas, Venezuela in and Mumbai, India in July The paper analyzes the effects of different equity principles on the decision of developing countries to join a world coalition whose aim is to control greenhouse gas emissions. A game-theoretic framework is proposed to assess the incentives for different countries to sign an international treaty on climate change control.

Then, the effects of different equity rules on these incentives are evaluated by using a dynamic integrated growth and climate model. Policy proposals based on transfers from developed to developing countries are also analyzed. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

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Climate Change and Developing-Country Cities: Implications For Environmental Health and Equity

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Abstract The paper analyzes the effects of different equity principles on the decision of developing countries to join a world coalition whose aim is to control greenhouse gas emissions. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all slides. Sign in. You could not be signed in. Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? European Economic Association members Sign in via society site. Sign in via your Institution Sign in.

Climate change makes poor countries poorer, widening global inequality, researchers say

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Email alerts Article activity alert. Advance article alerts.Climate change will exact a toll on global economic output as higher temperatures hamstring industries from farming to manufacturing, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Record-breaking heat across the globe made headlines throughout July, and now researchers say a persistent increase in average global temperature by 0. The researchers — hailing from the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern California — found little evidence that precipitation had an impact on GDP, but instead observed a large temperature-related effect.

The U. In the nearer term, and assuming no major policy changes and continued greenhouse emissions, the climate-related drag on global GDP per capita is projected to surpass 2. Using a panel data set of countries over the years tothe team tested two scenarios. The first tested the impact of climate change in the absence of climate change policies known as "RCP 8. That scenario implies an annual increase of 0. In the first scenario, which assumes an increase in average global temperate of 0.

In the second scenario, which abides by the Paris Agreement's global annual temperature increase of 0. Part of the outsized impact is due to the fact that temperatures in the U. Countries that derive a large proportion of their GDP from agriculture could be most at risk.

Excessive heat or rainfall can not only kill crops like corn and soybeans, but delay fieldwork and stall equipment shipments. Though the new study did not find evidence that increased rain damages economic growth, one business leader says increased precipitation can dampen profits.

Commenting on Friday, the chief economist at farm equipment maker Deere noted that doubts surrounding crop production have already weighed on government corn production estimates. Department of Agriculture reported on Aug. But relief from the unusual weather looks unlikely. The recent deluge of recent meteorological data shows a persistent pattern of record-breaking heat.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Thursday that July was the hottest month ever recordedshrinking the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows. The Paris Agreement seeks to combat those effects: It was designed to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

It mandates national signatories — nearly every country in the world — to devise a plans to cut emissions in an attempt to stem the impact of climate change. The average global temperature in July was 1. Meanwhile, nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred sincewith the last five years ranking as the five hottest.

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Is economic growth fuelling climate change? - Crunched

Skip Navigation. Markets Pre-Markets U. Key Points. A new report by the IMF, the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern California shows temperature increases will have a negative impact on economic growth. Barring major policy changes, the U. Some U. Hogs are stranded on the roof of a farm June 18, as floodwaters continue to overrun the town of Oakville, Iowa.

Related Tags.The effects of global warming are already bringing harm to human communities and the natural world. Further temperature rises will have a devastating impact and more action on greenhouse gas emissions is urgently required. Population and climate change are inextricably linked. Every additional person increases carbon emissions — the rich far more than the poor — and increases the number of climate change victims — the poor far more than the rich.

Population growth is also important because it affects the Earth's ability to withstand climate change and absorb emissions, such as through deforestation as land is converted for agricultural use to feed a growing human population.

We are currently adding more than 80 million people a year to our global population. The UN projects that without further action to address population growth, there will be two billion more people byand three-and-a-half billion more by We can make choices about how much of each option we use Further warming of our atmosphere is now almost impossible to avoid. The effects of that warming will depend on how high and how fast the temperature rises. Global warming changes weather patterns, causing severe weather events, heatwaves, droughts and floods.

Climate change is already shrinking glaciers and ice caps, altering the availability of fresh water. It contributes to ocean acidification, destroying coral reefs and other aquatic ecosystems. It makes places uninhabitable for some plants and animals, leading to extinctions and redistribution of species, threatening food production with alien pests and diseases. Its potential human cost is catastrophic. A rise in sea levels threatens hundreds of millions of people in coastal communities and cities across the globe.

Food and water shortages and conflict over productive land will arise, while progress in global health could be rolled back by communicable diseases such as malaria reaching places they never existed before. Hundreds of millions of people are likely to be forced to migrate from their homes by There are multiple drivers of climate change, amongst which population is only one.

Overwhelmingly, emissions are produced by people in the richest countries, and industrial development and consumption patters in the Global North are primarily responsible for the crisis we are in today. Technological solutions, personal lifestyle changespolicies to end fossil fuel use and develop alternative energy and potentially fundamental changes to our economic sytems are all vital, especially as the timescale for preventing catastrophic climate change is so short - now less than a decade, according to the IPCC.

Whatever other changes we make, however, their positive impacts will be reduced and may even be completely cancelled out by adding emissions from hundreds of millions of new people as our population increases. Meanwhile, solutions such as reforestation may be more difficult to implement with more people needing food and land. Reducing the number of people being born is not a panacea for climate change, but it cuts future carbon emissions, effectively, simply and permanently, and it boosts the effectiveness of other solutions.

A study published in by the Universities of Lund and British Columbia suggested that the single most effective measure an individual in the developed world could take to cut their carbon emissions over the long term could be to have one fewer child. The study relied on estimates of future per capita climate emissions which are likely to change significantly, so it must be treated with caution.

Illustrative figures produced by the authors suggested, however, that it could be significantly more effective than any other method in saving climate emissions. For more information on the study and its methodology, click here.

All the benefits of this action are not immediate and it does not mean that we should not take other actions to cut our individual carbon footprints, of course. Another major international study in identified practical policy measures that could be taken to minimise greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. Project Drawdown analysed more than eighty policy options, such as plant-based diets, solar farms and electric vehicles. The study identified family planning and educating girls as among the top 10 workable solutions to combat climate change available today.

Their enormous positive effect is a result of their proven effectiveness in reducing family size and population growth. Because individuals in the developed world have the greatest impact each, people choosing to have smaller families in the richest parts of the world will have the greatest and most immediate positive effect — a vital choice given the urgency to address which climate change. Furthermore, reduced emissions as a result of fewer people being born in richer countries allows more economic development in poorer countries without adding to total emissions.

However, in poorer countries, including those where population growth is highest, economic development is increasing individual carbon footprints and rapidly growing populations push emissions still higher. Those people have an absolute right to economic development and we must not tackle climate change by keeping people poor. That makes it all the more important to empower people to reduce population growth through ethical means. The world's most populous nations, India and China, are among the top contributors to climate change overall, despite lower impacts from each individual than in wealthier countries.Photo: Olearys.

The Fourth National Climate Assessmentpublished inwarned that if we do not curb greenhouse gas emissions and start to adapt, climate change could seriously disrupt the U. Warmer temperatures, sea level rise and extreme weather will damage property and critical infrastructure, impact human health and productivity, and negatively affect sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism.

The demand for energy will increase as power generation becomes less reliable, and water supplies will be stressed. Damage to other countries around the globe will also affect U. The study projected that if the higher-temperature scenario prevails, climate change impacts on these 22 sectors could cost the U. If we can keep to 2.

In any case, the U. We are already seeing the economic impacts of the changing climate. Flooding in Southeast Texas from Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Penn State. But the indirect economic impacts may be felt long before an actual disaster.

Sunny day high tide flooding in Miami Photo: B We need deeper thinking about the interconnection between physical and social systems. Here are some of the many ways that climate change will likely affect our economy, both directly and indirectly. Environmental economist Geoffrey Heal, a professor in the Columbia Business School, explained that although agriculture makes up a fairly small part of the total U.

There are about a dozen states in the Midwest that are very dependent on agriculture and they could take quite a big hit. They already have.

Economic growth vs climate security: We can have it all

Extreme rainfall events have increased 37 percent in the Midwest since the s, and this year, the region has experienced above normal amounts of rain and snowmelt that have caused historic flooding. Nebraska, floods Photo: Shelby L. To date, farmers have only planted 67 percent of their corn crop compared to last June, when they had planted 96 percent. This lost yield could cause prices for animal feed and ethanol to rise, and potentially disrupt marketplaces at home and abroad.

In addition to flooding, increased heat and drought will likely reduce crop yields.

climate change, economic development, and global equity

Many commodity crops such as corn, soybean, wheat, rice, cotton, and oats do not grow well above certain temperature thresholds. In addition, crops will be affected by less availability of water and groundwater, increased pests and weeds, and fire risk.

And as farmers struggle to stay afloat by finding ways to adapt to changing conditions, prices will likely increase and be passed along to consumers. If you take a global perspective, this is repeated around the world. Military bases are also vulnerable. Inland military installations near rivers are also vulnerable, because they can overflow with heavy precipitation, which is expected to become more common as the atmosphere warms.

Extreme weather will necessitate more maintenance and repair for runways and roads, infrastructure and equipment. Photo: Tony Webster. In addition, our communication systems will be affected. When it was built 25 years ago, climate change was not a concern, so while the cables are water resistant, they are not waterproof. Threats to the internet infrastructure could have huge implications for businesses in the U. If temperatures rise 4. The Aedes aegypti can spread dengue, Zika and other diseases.

Photo: USDA. Increasing warmth and precipitation will also add to the risk of waterborne and foodborne diseases and allergies, and spur the proliferation of insects that spread diseases like Zika, West Nile, dengue and Lyme disease into new territories. Extreme weather and climate-related natural disasters can also exacerbate mental health issues.We use cookies to improve your experience on our website.

By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our updated Cookie Notice. Gender equity is a lot like climate change.

Now is the time to change that. Whether you care about gender equity or not, the fact that it is horizontal in nature means that it impacts you — and the issues that matter to you — in one way or another. Mainstream approaches to policy creation instruct us to categorize issues and then neatly box them into policy solutions. While this approach keeps things simple, it also comes with a cost.

In an effort to distill problems into simple and singular forms, we overlook the interconnected, overlapping complexities inherent in our society. And when we strip society of its complexities, we become blind to the symbiotic relationships that connect issues to one another. This, in turn, jeopardizes our efforts to solve problems effectively.

The interplay of gender equity and climate change is a fitting example of this phenomenon. Scientists have well-established a link between climate change and gender equity. From this perspective, climate change appears to exacerbate pre-existing gender equity gaps.

We would expect, then, that the four critical building blocks of responding to climate change mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financing include a gender lens. Put another way, we would expect that gender be horizontally-integrated into climate change response efforts.

This is the fulcrum of gender mainstreaming — in other words, the practice of disaggregating the inputs and outputs that is, qualitative and quantitative data of public policy by gender.

Or that two-thirds of jobs lost in the wake of Katrina were those lost by women. We begin to see how women and children are 14 times more likely to die or be harmed when disasters strike. This horizontal integration of gender allows us to develop a more complete understanding of climate change. Importantly, it allows us to see how issue A escalates issue B. If we take the concept of horizontal integration a step further, we also find the reverse to be true; the very presence of gender inequity escalates the threat of climate change.

Countries with higher levels of women in politics have been the most successful in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, a study of countries reveals that women in government positions are more likely to sign international treaties on climate resolutions than their male colleagues.

Further research shows that countries with high levels of gender inequity also have high levels of environmental degradation. We are sitting atop mountains of evidence that demonstrate the positive correlation between gender equity and environmental wellbeing.


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