Poor Countries Will Suffer Most From Climate Change Related Disaster, IMF Warns

Poor countries will suffer most if the world should face any climate change related disaster, the International Monetary Fund has said.

Although low income developing countries emit a smaller percentage of the world’s greenhouse gasses, the lender insists they would be the most vulnerable to climate change.

“In the absence of successful mitigation policies, low-income countries are not only the most exposed to the costs of climate change, they are also the most limited in their capacity to adapt, even though they are the smallest contributors to emissions of greenhouse gases,” IMF revealed in the April 2021 World Economic Outlook.

China alone produces 23 per cent of the global emission, while the US accounts for 13 per cent. The European Union and India emits 7.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively, while Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for seven per cent.

The lender said climate change and a continued rise in global temperatures are likely to further increase the occurrence and intensity of natural disasters.

According to the IMF, the ongoing climate change poses a huge threat to the world economy.

The IMF said, “Without successful mitigation policies, increasing temperatures will reduce global living standards by at least 5–10 percent by the end of the century.”

The Washington based lender noted that in the absence of successful mitigation policies, low-income countries will not just be the most exposed to the costs of climate change.

It said, “They are also the most limited in their capacity to adapt, even though they are the smallest contributors to emissions of greenhouse gases.

“These costs are most likely to be imposed by more frequent and catastrophic natural disasters, as the rise in global temperatures has likely already contributed to more frequent weather-related disasters, on top of other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, to which low-income countries are likewise vulnerable.”

The IMF believes that the impact of climate change related disasters in advanced economies is more muted as they are usually better equipped to deal with natural disasters.

The lender said these big economies have more capacity to spend huge public funds to increase output immediately after a disaster; this is particularly in the short term.

Apart from poor countries being the worst recipients of the negative impact of climate related disaster, the poorest people in such countries will be most hit.

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