Climate change affects some more than others

Most of the world’s population has been affected in one way or another by climate change. 85%, to be more specific. But the impact is not the same for everyone. While some communities register slight increases in temperature, others are wiped off the map.

Rising temperatures and sea levels continue to affect the world with increasing force and frequency. But who are the most vulnerable to climate change?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This dispatch is part of a series on the most serious problems associated with climate change, the role of science, the impact of global warming and what is being done to deal with this issue.

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The answer is clear, according to scientists and “environmental justice” experts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a 2022 report that vulnerabilities to climate change “are exacerbated by inequality and marginalization, stemming from gender, ethnicity, low income, or a combination of these factors.”

“The poor, ethnic minorities and women are arguably more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that we are already seeing: heat waves, displacement caused by fires and price increases due to supply chain mismatches and the high cost of food. energy,” Daniel Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, and coordinator of the IGCC reports, told the Associated Press.

These populations are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of racism, sexism and profit-seeking, which take precedence over protecting people, according to Bineshi Albert, co-executive director of the Climate Justice Alliance ( Climate Justice Alliance).

“Due to the continual pursuit of profit under our current economic system, especially by the fossil fuel industry, there are entire neighborhoods that are considered sacrifice zones, and this is almost always affected by race, class ( social) and nationality”, said Albert.

Research also indicates that people with disabilities are more vulnerable than those without physical disabilities.

The growing vulnerability of these populations to climate change is currently a topic of debate, as is the allocation of responsibility for these inequalities.

A study published in July 2022 revealed that climate change generated by rich countries harms poor nations.

In relation to repairing the damage already caused to vulnerable populations and countries, experts told the HPD that the first step is to include these nations in development plans.

“A natural first step is to formulate policies that benefit these underserved communities,” said Kammen.

Albert believed that we must go further and invest in the communities most vulnerable to climate change.

“Economic resources should go to those who suffer the most from the climate crisis, so that they plan and implement solutions that arise from the communities themselves,” said the expert. “The catalyst must be communities, not profit-seeking, if we are to truly solve the climate crisis.”

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Drew Costley is on Twitter at @drewcostley.

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The Associated Press’ climate and environment coverage is supported by several private foundations. The HPD is solely responsible for the content.

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