Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Study:  Ending Extreme Poverty and Limiting Warming to 2C Still Possible

Bangladesh District Bagerhat , cyclone Sidr and high tide destroy villages in South khali, distribution of relief goods (Credit: Joerg Boethling / Alamy Stock Photo) Click to Enlarge.
Bringing “extreme” poverty to an end will not jeopardize the chances of limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels, a new study says.

Pulling the 770 million people around the world out of extreme poverty – which is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day – would add a mere 0.05C to global temperatures by 2100, the research shows.

However, eradicating poverty entirely by moving the world’s poorest into a “global middle class” income group, which earns a modest $2.97-8.44 a day, could add 0.6C to global temperatures by 2100.

In order to end all forms of poverty without driving up global temperatures, world leaders will need to ramp up climate mitigation efforts by 27%, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

‘Climate-development conflict’
Ending extreme poverty for “all people everywhere” is the first of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, an internationally-agreed set of targets aimed to improve the global standard of living by 2030.

However, putting an end to extreme poverty could bring additional challenges to meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2C.

This is because raising the quality of life of the world’s poorest would mean using more of the planet’s resources – such as food and energy – driving up carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

This paradox is known as the “climate-development conflict”, explains Prof Klaus Hubacek, a researcher at the University of Maryland and lead author of the new research published in Nature Communications.

In his research, he aimed to quantify the total “cost”, in terms of carbon emissions, of ending extreme poverty.  He tells Carbon Brief:
Eradicating extreme poverty does not jeopardize the climate target even in the absence of climate policies and with current technologies.
Read more at Study:  Ending Extreme Poverty and Limiting Warming to 2C Still Possible

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