The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development
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The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development

Edited by Sam Fankhauser and Thomas K.J. McDermott

Some climate change is now inevitable and strategies to adapt to these changes are quickly developing. The question is particularly paramount for low-income countries, which are likely to be most affected. This timely and unique book takes an integrated look at the twin challenges of climate change and development. The book treats adaptation to climate change as an issue of climate-resilient development, rather than as a bespoke set of activities (flood defences, drought plans, and so on), combining climate and development challenges into a single strategy. It asks how the standard approaches to development need to change, and what socio-economic trends and urbanisation mean for the vulnerability of developing countries to climate risks. Combining conceptual thinking with practical policy prescriptions and experience the contributors argue that, to address these questions, climate risk has to be embedded fully into wider development strategies
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Chapter 3: Poverty and climate change

Stephane Hallegatte, Mook Bangalore, Laura Bonzanigo, Marianne Fay, Tamaro Kane and Ulf Narloch


This chapter analyses the distributive impacts of climate change. Estimates of the economic costs of climate change tend to focus on the impacts on country-level or global gross domestic product. But such estimates do not capture the full impact of climate change on people’s well-being, given that the worst effects of climate change will be felt by the poorest members of society. The chapter outlines three main mechanisms through which the poor are disproportionately affected by climate change. Climate impacts on agriculture and ecosystems hit the poor hardest, given their reliance on primary production to sustain their livelihoods. The poor also suffer disproportionately the effects of natural hazards such as storms and floods. Finally, climate change will magnify some threats to health, especially for poor and vulnerable people – such as children. The chapter ends with a reflection on how policies can be designed to help alleviate the worst of these effects on the poor, with a view to achieving climate-resilient development.

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