Extreme weather and an increase in natural disasters are jeopardising the ability of poor communities to grow crops, access water, and house and feed themselves. Nearly every facet of World Vision’s work is affected by these issues.
In countries all over the world, people living in poverty are already suffering from the effects of climate change. It is the poor who tend to live in the most vulnerable areas, such as low-lying land prone to flooding, or on farmland prone to drought. People living in poverty are the most vulnerable to the spread of tropical diseases. They are more likely to have to leave their homes in search of water or to escape flooding. They are most vulnerable to the effects of the conflicts likely to arise from international tensions over water, energy and displaced people.
The poor are the least able to protect themselves and the most likely to suffer from climatic disasters.
Climate change is not simply an environmental problem, but also a development problem. There is widespread agreement that climate change has been caused by the past development of today’s rich countries. Unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut drastically - mostly in the developed world, but also in countries that are developing now - the effects of climate change and climate-related poverty will get worse.
Climate change will challenge almost every aspect of World Vision’s work and mission in the years to come. As one of the world’s leading aid and development organisations, we recognise that to serve disadvantaged children and their communities faithfully, we must take this challenge seriously.