The facts: How climate change affects people living in poverty (2021)

Mercy Corps

Created 06/10/2021

Blog, Report

Around the world, people are experiencing both the subtle and stark effects of climate change. Gradually shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events are devastating evidence of both a rapidly changing climate and an urgent need for solutions.

While the impacts of climate change affect every country on every continent, they don’t do it equally. People already burdened by poverty and oppression often suffer the harshest consequences, while having the least ability to cope. Their struggle to earn a living, feed their families and create stable homes is made more difficult every day the climate crisis continues.

The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts threaten lives in these front-line communities, driving people from their homes and jeopardizing food sources and livelihoods. All these effects increase the likelihood of more conflict, hunger and poverty.

Still, the people most at risk are persisting despite it, fighting to grow food, maximize dwindling resources and withstand recurring disasters. The actions people in hard-hit regions are taking every day to overcome the burdens of the climate crisis are just as vital as widespread solutions. And the steps we take now as a global community, including supporting those on the front lines who are braving the challenge, will determine our resilience for the future.

The time for this action is now, with the U.N. secretary-general naming 2021 a “make or break” year to address the climate emergency.

The climate crisis discriminates, but the efforts to fight it cannot. Mercy Corps partners with people and communities facing the starkest effects of climate change, connecting them to information and tools to protect themselves, overcome challenges and thrive in the changing environment.


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