Achieving Both Climate Change and Poverty Reduction in Progress


SEATTLE — International and local organizations, governments and businesses need to address climate change and poverty reduction, two pertinent global issues. Greenhouse gas emissions, livestock and human activity are some of the major catalysts of today’s climate change.

Climate change has caused a fluctuation in weather patterns over the years. A global temperature increase of four degrees Celsius is expected by the end of the century with the current growth curve. These changes are resulting in famines, flooding, pests and diseases. Agriculture and farming practices are gravely impacted, thereby impoverishing farmers.

With more globalization and industrialization, there have been many impediments to social development. The proliferating demand for energy, increasing levels of agricultural activity and production, and rising levels of consumption are now becoming more widespread in both developed and developing countries. Not only has this seismic phenomenon compromised on sustainability, but it is also contributing to economic inequality, lack of food security, poor sanitation and is exacerbating other social issues.

Recently, the Paris Climate Agreement hit a snag, causing many to question the urgency of climate change. President Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, an agreement between more than 190 countries to reduce carbon emissions.

The withdrawal may result in a massive setback on the climate change and poverty reduction front and come at a high price to the developing world and the domestic market, as the U.S. has a burgeoning clean energy industry. Also, the U.S. is cutting its funding to the Green Climate Fund, a component of the Copenhagen climate agreement. The fund works in collaboration with many developing countries to reduce carbon emissions. The combined funding of $100 billion from more than 37 developed countries built the initiative.

However, combatting climate change and poverty reduction brought on the advent of the clean energy industry in other countries. This had made it easier to address electricity problems and pollution shortages. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 26 percent of the world’s consumption needs will be met with renewable energy.

The renewable energy sector now collectively employs more than 10 million individuals all over the world. Sustainable businesses are now booming in many countries in Asia. Countries like Brazil, China and India need a massive workforce to develop environmentally sustainable technology and innovation. India is establishing solar parks, creating Green Energy Corridors and implementing the Smart Grid Mission.

Additionally, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are providing a successful framework for climate change and poverty reduction. Also, in order to develop safety nets and cut emissions, experts in climate change and poverty reduction from World Bank group are working closely with researchers and governments in assisting with policymaking and making recommendations.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is conducting valuable research and practical programs to attenuate the effects of climate change on developing countries. This is a vital part of the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The FAO supports smallholder farmers and is improving the state of current agricultural production systems. Agribusinesses in Southeast Asian countries are aiding climate change and poverty reduction in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The agribusiness sector will now focus on reviewing sustainability, supply chains, and basic environment and resource management.

Many European countries, the United States, China, Australia and Canada also use taxation as an effective way of achieving climate change and poverty reduction in the long run. A majority of the indirect form of taxation encompassed by tradeable pollution permits, carbon taxes and other forms of excise is channeled towards galvanizing the renewable energy sector. For example, many governments are using carbon pricing and placing fuel subsidies to lower emissions of “dirty” fuels.

Overall, climate change and poverty reduction are providing developing countries with many benefits and empowering thousands of individuals economically and socially. It will have plentiful impacts in the long run and will lay the foundation for policymaking, development and international relations between countries.

Shivani Ekkanath

Photo: Flickr


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