500,000 People Will Die Every Year Because of Climate Change by 2030: New Report Projects Human Cost of Inaction

climate change refugees photo

photo: Global Humanitarian Forum

Just how much is climate change going to hurt people, in quantified terms? That's the subject of a new report by the Global Humanitarian Forum entitled Climate Change: The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis. And the prognosis is certainly not good. Already 300,000 people each year are seriously affected by climate change, at a total economic costs of $125 billion, but that's just the start of it:99% of Deaths in the Developing World
By 2030, the report projects, worldwide deaths due to climate change will be nearly 500,000 people, with about 660 million people seriously affected in one way or another. About 99% of these deaths will be in developing countries, where mitigation efforts will have to be radically scaled up to cope with the situation.

The total economic cost on the global economy will be about $340 billion.

Echoing what climate change researchers have said for some time now, the report says that the majority of the world's population does not have the capacity to cope with the impact of climate change without suffering major losses to wellbeing. That's because the areas likely to be worst affected are also among the poorest countries, and lack the resources to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Wealthy Nations Must Help Bear the Burden
At the launch of the report Barbara Stocking of Oxfam, a board member of the Global Humanitarian Forum laid out the challenge facing poor nations, and how little wealthy nations are doing to help, in stark terms,

Climate change is a human crisis which threatens to overwhelm the humanitarian system and turn back the clock on development. It is also a gross injustice - poor people in developing countries bear over 90% of the burden - through death, disease, destitution and financial loss - yet are least responsible for creating the problem. Despite this, funding from rich countries to help the poor and vulnerable adapt to climate change is not even 1 percent of what is needed. This glaring injustice must be addressed at Copenhagen in December.

Read the full report: Climate Change: The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis
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