by Ebaide Omiunu


“Climate change affects all, but it does not affect us equally. Nor do we possess the same capacity to respond to its challenges”.
The concept of climate change is a global externality, meaning that one country’s emissions affect all countries by adding to the stock of heat-warming gases in the earth’s atmosphere from which warming arises. For instance, African countries, which are the least responsible for the global climate crisis, face seeing their GDP growth rate fall by up to 64% by the end of the century. Hence, it is clear that the impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed across the world, and developing countries are particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects. Developing countries often have limited resources and a high dependence on natural resources, and climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas, mining, etc. make them more vulnerable.
Climate change has a direct impact on the economic well-being of all countries, and it presents a major threat to long-term growth and prosperity. Developing economies are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts under all climate scenarios above 1.5 degrees Celsius. If left unchecked, climate change could drive 216 million people to migrate within their own countries by 2050, with hotspots of internal migration emerging as soon as 2030 and spreading and intensifying thereafter. The consequences of climate change on the economy have two components: physical risks and transition risks. Physical risks are the consequences of the environmental impact, while transition risks are the economic and financial risks associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy. In essence, climate change affects the economic performance of developing economies in several ways, such as reducing crop yields and livestock productivity, leading to food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. Likewise, an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, storms, and heat waves, causing damage to infrastructure, assets, and livelihoods, is another way climate change can affect developing economies.
To expound further on the key impacts aforementioned, it is important to note that climate change has severely impacted African agriculture, causing a 34% reduction in productivity growth since 1961. It’s projected to intensify heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms, damaging infrastructure, disrupting livelihoods, and triggering displacement. The 2020 locust outbreak, exacerbated by climate change, threatened food security across Africa. Global surface temperatures have risen to 1.1°C since pre-industrial times, with a 0.2°C per decade increase in recent decades expected to continue based on emissions. Altered precipitation patterns will affect water availability, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health. By 2030, climate change could drive an additional 100 million people into poverty, mainly due to its impacts on agriculture and food security, according to the World Bank.
Furthermore, over the past 50 years, drought-related hazards have resulted in the loss of over half a million lives and economic damages exceeding 70 billion USD in Africa. Climate change is driving sea-level rise through thermal expansion and glacier/ice sheet melting, posing significant risks like coastal flooding, saltwater intrusion, and land loss, especially impacting densely populated regions like Bangladesh, where up to 17% of land could be submerged by 2050. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports a global mean sea-level rise of approximately 0.2 metres since 1900, with an increasing rate of 0.04 metres per decade since 2006, projecting a continued rise of 0.3 to 1.1 metres by 2100, endangering coastal communities and infrastructure.
In addition, climate change is disrupting ecosystems and the species dependent on them, leading to biodiversity loss and jeopardising vital ecosystem services like food, water, medicine, and more. Developing countries, which heavily rely on these services, face significant challenges. For instance, in Indonesia, climate change may slash forest cover by 40% by 2100, endangering the livelihoods of those reliant on forests for their well-being and income.
Lastly, climate change poses direct and indirect health risks, including heat stress, respiratory illnesses, vector-borne diseases, water-borne diseases, malnutrition, mental stress, and disaster-related injuries. Developing countries with fragile healthcare systems and limited access to health services are particularly vulnerable. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is prevalent, climate change may expand mosquito breeding conditions, heightening the disease’s transmission potential.
To address the impacts of climate change and pursue sustainable development, developing economies need to implement a range of policies that address both mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (enhancing resilience to climate variability and change).
Developing countries must integrate climate change considerations into their national development strategies and sectoral policies. This alignment helps identify synergies and trade-offs, secures resources, and engages stakeholders effectively. Policymakers can employ tools like climate risk assessments, cost-benefit analyses, consultations, and monitoring systems to facilitate this process.
Additionally, these developing economies should adopt low-carbon development approaches that disconnect economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. This involves promoting renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, improving public transport, conserving forests, and supporting clean technology innovation.
Furthermore, building adaptive capacity and resilience is crucial for dealing with climate change impacts. This entails strengthening climate information systems, disaster risk management, ecosystem-based and community-based adaptation, and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups.
Accessing climate finance and technology is essential. This includes enhancing readiness for climate funds, utilising diverse sources of finance, and facilitating technology transfer and cooperation. Finally, the agriculture sector is central to addressing climate change but requires significant social, economic, and technological transformations to reduce emissions and enhance resilience.
One of the major issues that has impeded climate resilience on ecosystems is the lack of public awareness. Public awareness is crucial for raising the understanding and support of the general public and various stakeholders for climate change policies and actions. Public awareness can also influence individual and collective behaviours that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Some of the ways to enhance public awareness on climate change are through public education and communication campaigns using various media platforms (such as television, radio, newspapers, social media, websites, etc.) and formats (such as documentaries, dramas, cartoons, games, etc.). Moreover, engagement with civil society and community organisations plays an important role in raising public awareness of climate change by organising events, activities, and initiatives that engage and mobilise people at the grassroots level. Also, the promotion of environmental education in schools can foster environmental literacy and awareness among children and youth, who are the future leaders and citizens of the world.
Climate change is a global challenge that requires collective action from all countries. Developing countries are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which can undermine their development prospects. Thus, developing countries need to implement policies that address both mitigation and adaptation to climate change while pursuing sustainable development. Developing countries also need to access adequate finance and technology to support their climate actions. Public awareness is essential for enhancing the understanding and support of the public and stakeholders for climate change policies and actions. By taking action on climate change, developing economies can not only protect themselves from its adverse effects but also seize opportunities for green growth and prosperity.

Lawyer/ Development, Climate and Sustainability Advocate.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE : Contract Specialist; Regulatory Compliance; Sustainable Development ; Humanitarian Affairs; Climate Change; Community Development; Climate Finance; Due diligence specialist; Legal opinion; Leadership, Public Speaking and delivering keynotes; Organizational Behavior; Culture Transformation; Legal Writing and Drafting; Review of Bills; Dispute Resolution Specialist/ Certified Negotiator and Board Secretariat.

This is another opportunity to own a faster-loading website to expand your business and take it digitally online. Meet the best website designer/master coder for any kind of website. Contact them now it is affordable Chat now: 09077260922


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here