SPOKANE, Washington — Climate change needs to be addressed more directly in the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in order to decrease global poverty.
The current MDGs are set to expire and a new post-MDG set will take their place. Officially, 12 new goals will take their place, climate change being one of them. However, global leaders in poverty reduction urge climate change to be top priority post 2015 if eradication of global poverty is to be attained in 2030.
Billions of people suffer from poverty every year; these 12 goals are created to eradicate that number.
“We do need to prioritize, but I would argue if we do want to help the one billion, we need to put in climate change,” stated British Prime Minister, David Cameron at a debate held by the Associated Press. Cameron, along with other philanthropic figures (Bono, Bill Gates and Al Gore) sat down to discuss the route in which to take to make eradication of global poverty a reality in 2030.
The claim is that rising temperatures will affect food supplies and education to the most vulnerable citizens of the world. In a scientific report led by World Bank, scientists have uncovered drastic evidence linking climate change and poverty.
“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2 degrees Celsius- warming which may be reached by 20 years to 30 years- that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat- waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim. “In the near term , climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the earth’s temperature.”
The world’s poor will be most affected due to impoverished villages and communities being forced to live closer to sea level. Coastal living requires certain precautionary measures and supplies to keep homes, croplands, and lives safe–things poverty stricken villages’ lack.
Sub-Sahara Africa, south Asia and southeast Asia are the most vulnerable.
Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to suffer great losses to the ecosystem, croplands and people if nothing is done to stop the 2 degree increase. The ecosystem will suffer in such a way that migratory animal populations and marine fisheries might plummet. Croplands that produce maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, groundnut, and cassava will face huge losses due to drought.
An estimated 15 percent in crop reduction is expected. Malnutrition rates are expected to increase, as well as rates for those vulnerable to moderate or severe stunting.
South Asia and southeast Asia could see a future lacking in food and water. Higher sea levels may cause flooding resulting in destroyed croplands, such as rice production, which is a major export for the region. This could result in a 50 percent decrease in crop production in south Asia. Also, an increase in category five storms and tropical cyclones will ravage homes and take lives.
In addition, important basins such as the Indus and Ganges will produce insufficient amounts of water due to snow melt reductions. An estimated 10 percent water reduction which will have detrimental effects on the population is expected. Health problems will certainly persist and increase. In addition, malnutrition and the risk of diarrheal diseases will increase by 15 percent.
It is the hope of many humanitarian leaders, as well as those in the World Bank, to control the effects of climate change for the sake of the world’s poor.
The World Bank has a development plan to ensure that impoverished communities have access to resources and services to combat climate change. They are also working with companies to lower carbon emissions and fossil fuels. Hopefully the next round of goals will put climate change in top priority to combat global poverty and eventually eradicate it in 2030.
– Amy Robinson