Climate variability and the Poor

By: initiatives
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 23:08

The effects of climate variability induced stress on poor people and their livelihoods is the latest challenge for countries faced with rising numbers of people in extreme poverty. The debate between climate alarmists and climate skeptics will continue indefinitely and the rich nations, with 15 percent of world’s population and emit 45 percent of carbon, will continue to strive for new ways of economic and political imperialism beyond Copenhagen. Within the developing countries themselves, the rich and powerful who dominate the industrial and urban environments will continue to shirk their responsibilities of reducing carbon emissions despite all talk of corporate social responsibility. The green agenda will engage their attention only when it converts into private wealth. The fact is that poverty is rising, despite claims by Governments as is evident from the new method of poverty assessment based on consumption patterns rather than the calorie intake method. A World Food Programme report has shown that the number of hungry people in India far outstrips those that live in any other part of the world. The report is firm in its assertion that the targeted public distribution system has failed to meet its goals, due to corruption, inefficiency and faulty information on household characteristics and grain entitlements. Climate variability poses extremely high risks to the teeming millions of the poor, accentuating structural factors in the political economy of development. This issue of your journal brings to you some relevant issues that are central to the risk environment. Enjoy reading.