A study published in the journal Science suggests that by 2050, five billion people across the globe—disproportionately those in poorer communities—could face a higher risk of enduring coastal storms, water pollution, and crop losses linked to the human-caused climate crisis.
"Our analyses suggest that the current environmental governance at local, regional, and international levels is failing to encourage the most vulnerable regions to invest in ecosystems," said study co-author Unai Pascual, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). “If we continue on this trajectory," Pascual added, "ecosystems will be unable to provide natural insurance in the face of climate change-induced impacts on food, water, and infrastructure."
“And poorer people shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden...People in Africa and South Asia were projected to be most disadvantaged by "diminishing contributions" from nature. More than half the population in those regions is facing a significant increase in coastal storms, water pollution and crop losses.”
Meanwhile more than 500 million people in coastal communities across the world are estimated to be put at severe risk by sea-level rise by 2050.