UN Report: Human ‘Progress’ May Be Reversed By Climate Change

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Recent human ‘progress’ may be reversed throughout much of the developing world as a result of climate change, according to the UN’s recently released 2013 Human Development Report.

tropical slum
Image Credits: Slum via Wikimedia Commons

The report notes that while climate change will affect the whole world, the more equatorially located developing world will experience the worst of it, within the near future anyways. The report predicts that recent improvements in the HDI (Human Development Index) of these regions will be halted or reversed. South Asia and Subsaharan Africa are singled out by the report as likely seeing the most significant drops in living standards.

Among the most notable of its predictions, the report says that the number of people living in extreme poverty in the world could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050. And the regular environmental disasters occurring by then would then effectively stop these people from working their way out of poverty.

The report states: “Environmental threats are among the most grave impediments to lifting human development, and their consequences for poverty are likely to be high. The longer action is delayed, the higher the cost will be.”

That’s a pretty clear statement.

The predictions made by the report factor in the effects that climate change is expected to have on agricultural production, clean water, pollution, and deforestation. The report doesn’t factor in some of the other very likely effects of climate change, such as war, disease outbreaks, and desertification.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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