Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity,with far-reaching and devastating impacts on people, the envi- ronment, and the economy. Climate impacts affect all regionsof the world and cut across all sectors of society. People whodid the least to cause the problem—especially those living in poverty and fragile areas—are most at risk.
- Without adaptation, climate change may depress growth in global agriculture yields up to 30 percent by 2050. The 500 million small farms around the world will be most affected.
- The number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.
- Rising seas and greater storm surges could force hundreds of millions of people in coastal cities from their homes,with a total cost to coastal urban areas of more than
$1 trillion each year by 2050.
- Climate change could push more than 100 million people within developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.
The costs of climate change on people and the economy areclear. The toll on human life is irrefutable. The question is how will the world respond: Will we delay and pay more or planahead and prosper?