Will climate change affect the world equally?

Climate change is already affecting the world. We shouldn’t forget that it is not just something that’s happening in the future and it’s not affecting the world equally. In fact, it is something that is hitting those worst who are already more vulnerable and that is between countries and also within countries. So if we think about heat waves, for example, the most vulnerable parts of the population are those over 65 or those with underlying health conditions but also children. And then there are other countries where we already say they’re more affected by food insecurity, by droughts, by heavy precipitation, a lot of rain which leads to landslides because the Earth can’t absorb all this water. We’ve seen that this year actually so generally I think it is true to say that those who are already vulnerable for other reasons are also more vulnerable to climate change. They are also more limited in their capacity to what we call climate change adaptation, so in terms of being prepared for the next event and adapting to these changes that occur in terms of extreme weather events but also these slow onset events where we see changes accumulating over a longer time period. So to keep it short, it is not affecting everyone equally; some have the ability to adapt and are less affected than others – Dr. Petra Minnerop, Durham University.

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