Climate change makes poor countries poorer, widening global inequality
Climate change is having a serious impact on economic growth across the world — and it's worse for poor countries that already had a lot of catching up to do, according to a new study.
Two Stanford University researchers modeled the country-by-country effects of global warming over a 50-year period, and published their findings in a paper out Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Countries with the hottest climates suffered the most economic damage, the study showed.
India's gross domestic product per capita, for example, was 31% lower in 2010 than it would have been if not for global warming caused by human activity over the prior half century, the study found. Chad's economic activity per person was 39% lower, Venezuela's was 32% lower, and Nigeria's was 29% lower.
In absolute terms, many of those countries have actually boosted their economic output significantly over the past half century, and as a result, inequality between countries has declined in recent years. However, that progress could have moved faster if temperatures weren't rising, the study found.