Economy

Climate disasters in Latin America threaten to drive six million into poverty in next decade

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(Michael Molinski is a senior economist at Trendline Economics. He’s worked for Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo, and previously as a foreign correspondent and editor for Bloomberg News and MarketWatch.)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (Callaway Climate Insights) — As Latin America prepares for another disastrous hurricane season, two major intergovernmental reports are pointing to the need for urgency in reversing years of climate-related disasters that have driven more people into poverty.

report by the World Bank this month said over the past two decades, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean lost the equivalent of 1.7% of a year’s GDP due to climate-related disasters and up to 5.8 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in the region by 2030.

Agriculture is likely to be hit hard, with crop yields decreasing in virtually all countries, and energy generation stability will be undermined by changes in the hydrological cycle, the report said. . . .

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