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Poverty and Climate Change: Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor through Adaptation



January, 2003


  • African Development Bank
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Department for International Development, United Kingdom
  • Directorate-General for Development, European Commission


Despite international efforts, poverty has become more widespread in many countries in the last decade, making poverty reduction the core challenge for development in the 21st century. In the Millennium Declaration, 189 nations have resolved to halve extreme poverty by 2015 and all agencies involved in this paper are committed to contribute to this aim. However, climate change is a serious risk to poverty reduction and threatens to undo decades of development efforts. This paper focuses on the impacts of climate change on poverty reduction efforts in the context of sustaining progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. It discusses ways of mainstreaming and integrating adaptation to climate change into poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts. The chief messages emerging from this paper are: ● Climate change is happening and will increasingly affect the poor. ● Adaptation is necessary and there is a need to integrate responses to climate change and adaptation measures into strategies for poverty reduction to ensure sustainable development


Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Development Cooperation – The Netherlands, OECD, UNDP, UN Environment, World Bank, 2003.



Rights Holder

African Development Bank;Asian Development Bank;Department for International Development United Kingdom Directorate-General for Development;European Commission Federal Ministry for Economic