Mitigating climate change: what impact on the poor?

Martin Prowse, Leo Peskett

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review

Abstract

T
he impact of climate change is of vital
importance. But, for the world’s poor,
policies to mitigate climate change
may, in the short term, have as much
impact as climate change itself. Climate change
poses a risk to poor and marginalized communities not only through its physical impact,
but also through policy responses to its real
or perceived threats. This is not to discount
the physical impacts. Environmental change
is here, and the decisions we make now will
influence our ability to adapt now and in the
future. But, in the short term, the urgent pressure to implement mitigation policies could
have unintended consequences on the poor.
Encouragingly, there are indications that the
impacts of mitigation measures are receiving
high-level policy attention. Buried within the
‘Bali Roadmap’ is a small sub-clause referring
to the need to consider the ‘economic and
social consequences of response measures’
(Bali Action Plan Decision, 2007).
This Opinion assesses four mitigation strategies and their possible impacts on the poor:
environmental labelling; green growth strategies; biofuel production and food prices; and
forest protection. We focus on sub-Saharan
Africa (SSA). First, because the region lags
behind on progress towards MDG1 (poverty
reduction), and second, because SSA has contributed least to greenhouse gas emissions,
but may suffer most from the impacts of climate
change
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationLondon
Volume97
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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