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Poverty and climate change: introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 May 2018

Stephane Hallegatte*
Affiliation:
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank Group, Washington DC, USA
Marianne Fay
Affiliation:
Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, World Bank Group, Washington DC, USA
Edward B. Barbier
Affiliation:
Department of Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: shallegatte@worldbank.org

Abstract

Because their assets and income represent such a small share of national wealth, the impacts of climate change on poor people, even if dramatic, will be largely invisible in aggregate economic statistics such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Assessing and managing future impacts of climate change on poverty requires different metrics, and specific studies focusing on the vulnerability of poor people. This special issue provides a set of such studies, looking at the exposure and vulnerability of people living in poverty to shocks and stressors that are expected to increase in frequency or intensity due to climate change, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and impacts on agricultural production and ecosystem services. This introduction summarizes their approach and findings, which support the idea that the link between poverty and climate vulnerability goes both ways: poverty is one major driver of people's vulnerability to climate-related shocks and stressors, and this vulnerability is keeping people in poverty. The paper concludes by identifying priorities for future research.

Type
Introduction
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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