The Impact of Climate Change in the Developing World: Where Developing Countries are Positioned in Climate Change Discussions

By Sarah Hasaba.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is no doubt that climate change has become an emerging threat to the livelihood and survival of millions of people and their communities, especially in developing countries. The adverse effects of climate change on developing countries is concerning, as biodiversity and ecosystems are increasingly disappearing and some areas are becoming increasingly uninhabitable.
The purpose of this paper is to explore literature on climate change and its effects on developing countries. The objectives of writing this paper are first of all to ascertain the extent to which developing countries are exposed to the effects of climate change, and secondly to explore the position of developing countries in climate change discussions. Some of the questions governing this discussion include: what is climate change and in what ways is it affecting developing countries? How are developing countries dealing with climate change and its effects? What is the position of developing countries in climate change discussions? One hypothesis set before this discussion is that, because they are poor, developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change effects than developed countries.

The discussion in this paper will rely on information obtained through the content analysis method. Publications on climate change effects and developing countries over the last ten years from academia, organizations and climate change events were used. Furthermore, information on the participation of developing and developed countries in climate change discussions is explored. Some of the findings from the literature indicate that developing countries are hard hit by the effects of climate change such as floods, rising sea levels, massive landslides, prolonged droughts and altered rainfall patterns, storms and typhoons. There is also a degree of inequality between developed and developing nations based on socio-economic standings and this is noticeable during climate change discussions. Developed countries take the upper hand during climate change discussions. Overall, there is need for a continued, shared understanding between developing and developed countries on climate change action, as it is indeed vital. Future global climate change discussions should continue to forge stronger collaborations and commitments towards climate change and work to limit human action from causing further damage to the environment.

Keywords: Climate Change, Developing Countries

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 790.675KB).

Dr. Sarah Hasaba

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Japan

I am a UNU-JSPS Postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Sustainability and Peace within United Nations University in Tokyo. I obtained my PhD in Education from La Trobe University in Australia. My doctoral thesis was entitled “Ugandan Women in Two Village Literacy Classes: Literacy Learning, Poverty Reduction and Empowerment”. My research interests include literacy learning, gender issues, poverty reduction and community based practices. While in United Nations University, I attended two Advanced seminars (September 2010-January 2011)-Climate change, Energy and Food Security and Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. These two seminars are my motivation for writing this conference paper.

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