Climate Change is not an Obstacle to ending Extreme Poverty, they are Inseparable

In a recent article by the World Bank ‘Climate Change Complicates Efforts to End Poverty,’ while I understand the premise of the article, the idea that climate change and poverty are mutually exclusive doesn’t accurately grasp the urgent need for an interconnected solution to climate change and poverty.

It is an acceptable fact that climate change affects the poorest people or income countries the hardest, the reason is not only that of geographical location but because of lack of resources to help adapt or recover quickly from shocks. Put it simply, the poorer you are, the less likely you are to survive climate change.

It is imperative that the climate change and poverty community work together to bring forth interconnected solutions to both problems. Instead of “Climate change is an obstacle to ending extreme poverty,” it should be “Climate change and poverty are inseparable.”

As the world bank put it, ‘

As the impacts of climate change worsen, it will become harder to eliminate poverty.’

So why not empower local communities or poor income countries through efficient social protection systems, increase access to essential services for low-income people, to health care, and to financial services such as loans to help rebuild or build businesses. And most importantly, actively invest in higher education and research, encourage brain circulation and access to technology that can be adapted to local knowledge and vision.

Before climate change becomes an obstacle, why not kill two birds with one stone. Help low-income people out of poverty, which in turn help their communities become more resilient to the impact of climate change.


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Franklyn Kanyako

Ph.D. Student Industrial Engineering, UMass Amherst, working on environmental decision-making, uncertainty in climate policies. Former International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA) Scholar and United Nations Secretary General's Climate Change Support Team Intern.

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