route zero

Why are developing countries experiencing the worst effects of climate change?

While historically, developing countries contribute the least emissions to global warming, they are nevertheless bearing the brunt of the actions of larger nations that produce higher levels of CO₂. Following discussions at COP26, it has become clear that these countries are in dire need of funding and adaptation assistance.

Around 60% of the world’s population currently resides in countries that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The disastrous consequences of climate change pushes families and individuals further into poverty, threatening their homes and livelihoods. It is therefore vital that countries change their routines in order to strive towards a sustainable future.

So, why are developing countries so vulnerable to the effects of climate change? And how can we tackle this issue?

Why are developing countries the worst affected?

Flash floods, hurricanes and forest fires can have devastating effects on countries and communities that are insufficiently prepared. Aside from the destruction of homes and businesses, food supplies and public health can also be seriously affected. The economies of these developing countries could also continue to be negatively affected.

Adverse effects include:

  • Less agricultural certainty.
  • Reduced worker productivity.
  • Slowed investment.
  • Damage to public health.

Developing countries suffer 99% of the damage attributable to climate change, according to the United Nations Development Programme. The geography often explains why developing countries are experiencing the worst effects of climate change. With many located on the coast or near large forests, they are more susceptible to storms, floods and forest fires.

Low-income communities also face a much longer and arduous process when rebuilding in the aftermath of severe weather abnormalities or natural disasters. Sometimes these communities are even struck again as they struggle to rebuild. The end result is devastating loss, both in terms of time and resources.

How can richer countries help?

During COP26, world leaders agreed to invest in adaptation infrastructure within developing countries. On the conference’s ‘finance day’, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that 20 of the world’s biggest economies (the ‘G20’) would commit to delivering $500 billion by 2050. This will go to countries that are urgently in need of financial support.

The G20 nations are responsible for the production of around 80% of global greenhouse gases. Governments, businesses and communities around the world must pull together, to work towards a future both for themselves and those that are most vulnerable. This will mean reducing emissions but also adapting to the inevitable rise in global temperatures.

Reports published in the last week have warned that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has hit the highest levels in over 15 years. This comes in spite of pledges to reduce deforestation. Brazil was among several countries at COP26 that had agreed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Not only is this devastating for the Earth, it is even more damaging for the prospects of developing countries. These harmful actions must end if we are to reach a sustainable future and save the most vulnerable.

How can EIC help?

Countries, businesses and individuals must work together if countries are to reach their net zero targets. And while considerable efforts to cap climate warming continue, some global warming is still inevitable. It is therefore essential that each and every country adapts to this warming as quickly as possible.

At EIC, we understand that urgent change is needed. Our expert team works with clients to find the most efficient and effective solutions, tailored to their business needs. By working together, we can assist clients in the development of their Carbon Management Plans ensuring energy efficiency measures are identified, savings made and carbon emissions are measured and reduced.

Get in touch to find out more about how EIC can help you to take your first step towards a sustainable future.

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