The economic losses linked to climate change are enormous. In 2022 alone, the resumption of naturalness disasters – many of them climate-related – cost $300 billion worldwide.
The human cost of climate change is harder to quantify, but it has far-reaching and lasting consequences. Climate shocks disrupt education and health services, limit people’s ability to earn income, and displace millions. Slow-onset climate trends may not make headlines, but they’re no less dangerous. Drought and desertification reduce agricultural yields, increasing malnutrition and plunging many families into poverty. The cycle of poverty can last a long time as jobs are lost and children do not benefit from good health and adequate education.
Unfortunately, both between countries and within countries, the the poorest and most vulnerable people are most exposed to climate risks. Health impacts, destruction of livelihoods and increased food prices due to climate change are likely to be behind the largest climate-induced increase in poverty levels.
At the 2023 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings, more than 40 finance and planning ministers from Human Capital Project Network countries gathered to discuss investing in human capital for better results climatic. At a public event that followedPresident of the Human Capital Network, Minister Oulimata Sarr from Senegal, was joined by Nobel Prize winner Esther DufloAbdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Reduction and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrew Steerpresident and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, and Axel van TrotsenburgSenior Managing Director at the World Bank.
The discussions highlighted that with appropriate investments, people should not be passive victims of climate change. Indeed, education is the the biggest indicator of climate-friendly behavior.