Poverty and Climate Change

coastal city, grass and trees
coastal territory

The Conference of Parties (COP), established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a convention of governmental representatives and scientific experts for discussing climate change. COP26 will be the next COP gathering and will take place in November, 2021. World leaders participating in COP26 will discuss topics ranging from mitigation strategies to extensive economic reforms.

The countries most capable of adapting to climate change are those who have relatively high incomes and low economic vulnerability. These nations are more equipped to deal with climate destabilization than low income countries with high economic vulnerability. This is because higher income nations can afford to invest in net-zero transition projects, adaptation technologies and more resilient infrastructure.

Are Poorer Countries More Affected by Climate Change?

Lower-income nations by contrast have economies that are less capable of investing in green revolutions. Dealing with decreases in crop yields and infrastructure damage as a result of climate change is be more difficult in countries that have vulnerable economies because people in these regions tend to be more dependent on agriculture and other contributions from nature, such as fishing or logging. Increases in adverse weather events or changes in climate also threaten tourism in small island developing states. Under the influence of climate change, the least developed communities are expected to have a harder time rebuilding with limited finances and resources.

COP26 Outcomes

Climate finances are the funds planned to be provided to highly vulnerable nations to aid in addressing climate change and its impacts. Funds like the Green Climate Fund were created as financial support systems that lower income nations could draw from for new initiatives and adaptation. Alternative methods for climate finance include loans, export credits and government donations. The pledged for $100 billion a year (by 2020) for developing nations has been discussed as a central issue since 2009.

COP26 is an opportunity for relatively high income nations to sort out the details of their pending commitments. They are the primary beneficiaries of fossil fuel use, and are therefore liable for the consequences associated with climate destabilization. The territories that make up the Group of 20 (G20) generate more than half of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and make up most of the world’s gross domestic product. These nations then have the greatest responsibility to help support people in highly vulnerable regions and small island states.

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