Countries Where Climate Change Kills the Most People

10. Afghanistan
> Deaths: 90,000
> Population: 34.4 million
> Affected population: 10 million
> Pct. of GDP lost on climate change/emissions: 8.3%

According to DARA’s Climate Vulnerability Monitor, climate change and pollution are key factors driving premature mortality in Afghanistan, leading to 90,000 deaths in 2010. This number is expected to rise to 150,000 by 2030, as climate change is projected to lead to drought, hunger and stress on agriculture. Diarrheal infections from climate change, caused by increasing rates of food spoiling and water contamination when temperatures rise, are expected to cause more than 4,000 deaths a year by 2030. As of 2010, life expectancy in Afghanistan was already one of the lowest in world at just 48.3 years.

9. Russia
> Deaths:
> Population: 141.8 million
> Affected population: 8 million
> Pct. of GDP lost on climate change/emissions: 1.7%

In 2010, approximately 98,000 people died due to the effects of carbon pollution. Reuters recently reported that Russia said it will not cut emissions past the first round of commitments of the Kyoto Protocol, agreed to by all industrialized nations except the United States. But while Russia’s emissions in 2010 were 34% below 1990 levels, Soviet-backed industrial emissions from the 1980s and 1990s still contribute to high incidences of “cancer, cardiopulmonary and respiratory illnesses,” the DARA report notes. The number of deaths due to climate change and carbon pollution is expected to decrease from 100,000 people annually in 2010 to 80,000 people in 2030.

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8. Ethiopia
> Deaths: 100,000
> Population: 83 million
> Affected population: 10 million
> Pct. of GDP lost on climate change/emissions: 4.7%

By 2030, the number of Ethiopians whose lives will be affected by pollution and climate change is expected to rise to 15 million annually. The health impact of climate changes is expected to be especially troubling. As temperatures rise globally, diarrheal infections caused by spoiling food are expected to become serious concerns in Ethiopia, costing 6,500 lives a year by 2030. As of 2010, the agriculture cost of climate change was already $450 million annually, a figure DARA anticipates will rise to $3 billion a year within the next 20 years. This is hardly good news for a country that had GDP per capita of $374 last year, one of the lowest in the world.

7. Bangladesh
> Deaths: 100,000
> Population: 148.7 million
> Affected population: 55 million
> Pct. of GDP lost on climate change/emissions: 3.7%

As of 2010, pollution and climate change cost an estimated 100,000 lives in Bangladesh, while another 55 million people were otherwise adversely impacted — more than any country aside from India and China. By 2030, DARA projects there will be about 150,000 deaths and an additional 70 million people affected each year in the country. The group also anticipates that hunger, caused by increasing food insecurity as the world’s climate worsens, is expected to cause 15,000 deaths, and adversely affect another 15 million Bangladeshis by 2030. The country has been proactive in addressing these issues, pledging never to exceed the average per capita emissions of the world’s developing nations.

6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
> Deaths: 100,000
> Population: 66 million
> Affected population: 15 million
> Pct. of GDP lost on climate change/emissions: 11%

In 2010, about 17,000 lives were lost in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to climate change, while another 84,000 were lost due to carbon emissions . By 2030, those figures are expected to rise to 25,000 and 91,000 deaths, respectively. A big problem in the country is meningitis, partially due to rising humidity and irregular weather patterns. The country’s death toll from meningitis is “in the thousands.” The problem is that Congo currently lacks the resources necessary to combat these problems. GDP per capita as of 2011 was only $231, the lowest of all 203 countries measured by the World Bank.

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