Across the globe, extreme weather events are happening more frequently than in the past and, for certain populations, the effects are especially devastating. Many low- and middle-income countries are bearing the brunt of climate change, despite high-income countries driving greenhouse gas emissions.
Population characteristics like age, gender, and socioeconomic status are among the factors that make some people more vulnerable to such harmful impacts from climate change as increasing temperatures and more frequent flooding, and cascading effects like disruptions in food production, damage to or destruction of infrastructure like housing and roads, and loss of economic opportunity. Understanding these characteristics can help countries plan to strengthen the resilience of their populations and adapt.
With information about populations’ exposure and vulnerability to the cascading effects of climate change and their capacities to adapt when weather shocks occur, decisionmakers can work across regions, nations, and communities to strengthen the resilience of essential systems in ways that protect people’s livelihoods and well-being. Essential systems include emergency services, information and communications technology, the health system, and other services.
When we invest in measures to build climate resilience, we reinforce broader efforts to advance equitable development and help equip individuals and communities with the tools and resources to adapt to shocks. Current financing for climate adaptation efforts, however, falls significantly short of the need in low- and middle-income countries.