Life

Economic Inequities Caused by Climate Change

Climate change not only affects the environment but also affects economic inequalities. As global warming continues to impact the world, the financial gap between rich and poor countries widens.

Climate change not only affects the environment but also affects economic inequalities. As global warming continues to impact the world, the financial gap between rich and poor countries widens. 

Despite climate change negatively affecting developing countries like India and Bangladesh, rich countries like Norway and Sweden continue to make more money. Researchers found that climate change helped to enrich countries while making others poorer. The gap between the countries would have shrunk without the complications of climate change. 

How Did the Gap Widen?

Researchers looked at 50 years of temperatures and the GDP of 85% of the world’s countries. They found that economic growth sped up in nations that remained cool while it slowed in the nations where temperatures rose. 

The historical study showed that cooler countries had more productive crops, along with healthier and more productive people, than warm countries. The opposite happened in warm countries. 

In a new study, researchers looked at climate models with the older economic data. They confirmed that without climate change, the economic downturns would not have happened. Researchers used about 20,000 variations to determine how climate change negatively affected developing countries. 

The findings proved that tropical temperatures prevented nations from seeing economic growth. After checking so many climate models, researchers do not doubt that climate change was a significant factor in economic drops. 

What about the Largest Economies?

Researchers also found that climate change had little effect on major economic powers like the United States and China. The minimal numbers show how the United States and China aren’t in dangerous climate-change zones yet. 

If countries of the world do not slow climate change, the small temperature changes will continue to dramatically change gains and losses year after year. After 30 or more years, the impacts will show – even in places like the United States, China, Norway, and Sweden. 

Inequalities between Emissions

Big impacts will continue to show in tropical countries. For example, without global warming, India’s economy would be 30 percent larger. Researchers can show how greenhouse gas contributions have affected each country. This information could encourage countries to reduce their emissions. 

Countries like China and the United States, the largest greenhouse gas emitters, have improved GDP after global warming. The low emitters, like India and Bangladesh, have suffered the most – with GDP decreasing by about 25 percent. 

The Damage of Inequalities

When global warming affects developing countries, the result is often premature death, which eventually destroys communities. Sadly, these countries are the least responsible for the troubles they face from global warming.

Consider sub-Saharan countries like Burkina Faso and Sudan, where the climate change cost is around 20% of the GDP. These countries do not have major manufacturing centers that emit greenhouse gases, but their location on the globe means that the emissions harm them the most. 

Effects of Climate-Change Inequalities

When temperatures in tropical countries rise, crops fail or yield less. People become overheated, and productivity decreases. Cognitive functioning also decreases as people struggle with extreme weather. For countries in tropical climates, global warming does significant harm, as lower crop yields mean people often go hungry. 

Sadly, climate change and poverty are related, which result in extreme inequality. Marginalized countries struggle with rebounding from flooding and droughts. The severe weather creates unpredictability in crop yields, which affects food prices. 

Storms and disasters caused by climate change cause people in low-income countries to become displaced at a rate five times higher than people in high-income countries. This issue also happens in poor communities in the United States, like those in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Risks for More Poverty, Disasters, and Conflicts

Along with adding more poverty to impoverished areas, climate change also increases the risk for disasters and conflict. Already about 20 million people around the world have lost their homes, livelihoods, and communities due to climate-change disasters. 

Economic inequities continue to grow as climate change wreaks havoc on impoverished countries. If rich countries do not change their attitudes about climate change, they will see negative effects soon. 

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