The humanitarian impacts of climate change

Nathan Siegel/IRIN

Warnings on the dire consequences of climate change in the coming years have been ramping up recently.

Hundreds of millions of people may be at risk of climate-related poverty, especially in developing countries, if the global economy does not cut greenhouse gas emissions, a UN report warned in October. It also noted that food shortages, fires, floods, and droughts would put ever larger numbers of lives and livelihoods at risk within the next 12 years. And in November scientists noted that the oceans have been warming at faster rates than previously thought – which could mean that coastal and island communities will experience greater flooding and storms will become fiercer, among other things.

Many communities don’t need warnings about the consequences of climate change: they are already experiencing them first-hand. From floods in Vietnam to drought in Senegal, our recent reporting confirms that the effects of climate change are uprooting communities and creating more need for humanitarian aid in the form of food, shelter, and medical care.

  • A selection of IRIN’s recent climate-related reporting follows, including:

  • A multi-part report focusing on how climate change is exacerbating food security issues in four African nations – and how locals are finding ways to counter the threat.
  • Examinations of whether climate change mitigation policies drafted by intergovernmental organisations recognise the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations, including communities in small island states and farmers working in deforested areas.
  • Reports from Somalia and Afghanistan on the humanitarian crises that emerge as households are uprooted by floods and drought.
  • Ongoing coverage of how some of the populations most vulnerable to climate change are working to respond to changing needs: from fishermen serving as first responders in recent flooding in India to Vietnamese shrimp farmers embracing their mangrove forests to prevent the Mekong Delta from sinking.
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