“Climate Apartheid” to Push 120 Million Into Poverty by 2030, UN Says – CNN

EVA Issues in the News

Ivana Kottasová of CNN outlines a new report released by the United Nations warning of a disastrous “climate apartheid” between the rich and poor in an article originally published June 27, 2019. As climate change causes more extreme conditions on Earth, the report states that the rich will be able to pay to protect themselves from the impacts of global warming while wealth inequality will continue to grow, leaving the poor to bear the majority of the consequences of climate change. Read the following excerpt and click through to the full article to learn more.


The world is facing a “climate apartheid” between the rich who can protect themselves and the poor who are left behind, the UN has warned. A new report published on Tuesday estimated that more than 120 million people could slip into poverty within the next decade because of climate change.

As extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and hurricanes become more frequent, the world’s poorest people will be forced to “choose between starvation and migration,” the report warned.

“We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer,” said Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

“We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.”

Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur

Alston said the difference between how climate change affects the wealthy and the poor is already apparent.

One example he gave in the report was the aftermath of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy in New York City. While thousands of low-income people were left without power and healthcare for days, the Goldman Sachs HQ on Manhattan was kept safe by tens of thousands of sandbags and powered by a private generator.

Researchers from Stanford University have previously warned that climate change is making poor countries poorer, widening global inequality between nations.

But extreme weather events fueled by climate change are also deepening disparities within countries.

Research published in 2017 in Science journal projected that the poorest counties in the United States will see the most economic damage from events like droughts and hurricanes.

Read the full article at CNN.

Download the report and read statements by the report’s Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, here.


Issues in the News highlights news items focusing on key issues for poor and low-income families, from fair work and access to health care to family economic security, criminal justice reform, voting rights, and more.

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