Poorest will be hit hardest by global warming
- Poorest will be hit hardest by global warming
May 15, 2006
By Philip Thornton
The poorest people in the world will be the chief victims of the
West's failure to tackle global warning, with millions of Africans
forecast to die by the end of the century, according to a new report
The potential ravages of climate change are so severe that they could
nullify the efforts to end the legacy of poverty and disease across
developing countries, Christian Aid warns.
The report highlights the fact that, despite hand-wringing in the
West about the threat to its coastlines from rising temperatures, it
is the poorest who look set to suffer most.
Christian Aid said that a "staggering" 182 million people in sub-
Saharan Africa could die of disease directly attributable to climate
change by 2100.
Many millions more face death and devastation from climate-induced
floods, famine, drought and conflict triggered, it claims.
Sir John Houghton, former co-chair of the scientific assessment
working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has
given his support to the report's findings.
"This report exposes clearly and starkly the devastating impact that
human induced climate change will have on many of the world's poorest
people," he said.
Its warning came as almost 200 nations meet later this week in Bonn
to try to close the gap between the US and its allies over the best
way to combat climate change.
While 40 nations are committed to cutting carbon emissions in line
with the Kyoto Protocol, the United States and leading developing
countries such as China have refused to sign.
Kyoto obliges rich nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at
least 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012.
Few experts expect the Bonn talks to break new ground.
The summit of the leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations chaired
by Tony Blair in Gleneagles last July agreed to develop markets for
clean energy technologies, increase their availability in developing
countries, and help vulnerable communities adapt to the impact of
Last week the head of environment at the World Bank, the
international body that leads the fight against global poverty, said
the world needed to do more to protect the poor from the threats from
"As a development institution we have to focus on the fact that
millions of people will suffer from climate change," Warren Evans