The report, ‘Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty’, states that in a high-impact scenario, climate change may reduce the income of the bottom 40% of the population by more than 8% by 2030.
The impact of climate change seems more adverse on Pakistan and sub Saharan Africa, as this percentage shoots down to just 4% in the case of most other countries, shows the report.
The report further states that poor people are already at a high risk from climate-related shocks, including crop failures from reduced rainfall, spikes in food prices after extreme weather events, and increased incidence of diseases after heat waves and floods.
The report shows that a food price rise could lead to increase in extreme poverty in most countries. A 100% increase in prices could result in about 30% increase in the poverty rate in Pakistan. In case of a 50% increase in prices, the poverty could jump over 10%, according to the report.
In the last five years, Pakistan has sustained $14.6 billion losses due to floods and other natural disasters, according to Ministry of Finance’s statistics.
The Washington-based lending agency released its findings weeks before the upcoming conference in Paris under the umbrella of the United Nations.
The climate change issue also came under discussion during a recent meeting between the United States President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, both sides agreed on combined efforts to counter climate change.
Pakistan stated its plan to soon submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) -set of actions that every country wants to take post 2020 as part of a global agreement on climate change.
There was also an agreement on robust financial support to help developing countries build low-carbon and climate-resilient societies.
After the climate change issue was raised by President Obama, the government made its first serious effort to prepare a response that it will share with the global community in the upcoming Paris Conference. On October 30, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting that was attended by officials from the PM office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Climate Change.
The officials said that it was decided that Pakistan would not give any specific INDCs and instead, will give its general commitment to the global cause. There was unanimous opinion in the meeting that Pakistan has not yet reached a point of peak carbon omissions and was dependent on global financial and technological assistance, said the officials.
The World Bank report states that without climate-informed development, 62 million more people in South Asia – 45 million of them in India – could fall into extreme poverty by 2030, largely as a result of lower crop yields and higher food prices, and the health impacts of climate change.
The World Bank estimated that due to the adverse impact of climate change more than 100 million people may be pushed into poverty around the globe.
While citing the impact of 2010 devastating floods, the report stated that in Pakistan, incidence of infectious disease and diarrhea increased as a result of the impact of the 2010 floods on the quality of water. Ongoing efforts to eradicate polio were also interrupted, further setting back this agenda, it added.