The geography of poverty, disasters and climate extremes in 2030

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) launches its landmark report "The geography of poverty, disasters and climate extremes in 2030". The report is intended as an input to the post-2015 debates and aims to make clear that ending extreme poverty will not be possible by 2030 unless disaster risks and climate are addressed in the post-2015 development agenda. This study is one of the first to quantitatively consider the links between poverty, climate change and natural disasters. It uses the most recent climate scenarios published in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report and so represents a huge step forward in the analysis of these issues. The report is built on cutting edge analysis and correlation of data on poverty, livelihoods, climate change and disasters, including case studies drawing on Young Lives longitudinal survey of children in four countries.

The conclusion is a strong recommendation for the post-2015 development goals to include targets on disasters and climate change.

Key messages:

  • Extreme weather linked to climate change is increasing and will likely cause more disasters. Such disasters, especially those linked to drought, can be the most important cause of impoverishment, cancelling progress on poverty reduction.
  • Up to 325 million extremely poor people will be living in the 49 most hazard-prone countries in 2030, the majority in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The 11 countries most at risk of disaster induced poverty are Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
  • Disaster risk management should be a key component of poverty reduction efforts, focusing on protecting livelihoods as well as saving lives. There is a need to identify and then act where the poor and disaster risks are most concentrated.
  • The post-2015 development goals must include targets on disasters and climate change, recognising the threat they pose to the headline goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030
Published 2013-10-23