Climate change is responsible for 300000 deaths a year, while 300 million people are affected by it. This is according to the first comprehensive study of the human impact of global warming. Launching the report in London, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said these statistics represented the greatest humanitarian challenge the world has ever faced.
Kofi Annan's think tank, the Global Humanitarian Forum, projects that increasingly severe heat-waves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500000 deaths by 2030. "The picture emerging is alarming and demands attention and action. The reports findings indicate the lives of hundreds of millions of people are eminently or temporarily affected by climate change, these figures are set to increase sharply as the extreme weather disasters, the desertification, rising water levels are all exacerbated by climate change," says President of Global Humanitarian Forum Kofi Annan, adding that, "This will have social serious political security implications for not just the countries affected but for the whole world.".
The financial cost due to climate change today amounts to more than $125 billion a year, this is more than the all present world aid, this cost will be significantly increased by 2030, according to the report. "It is cost which falls on those least responsible for climate change and without the resources to cope; it is not the poor of the world who are polluting our atmosphere." Annan says the least 50 developed countries contribute less than 1% of global carbon emissions and yet it is the poorest on the planet that are being the first hit and the worst hit by changes in our climate.
The report further says water supplies will be severely impacted by climate change, further stating it would be impossible to be certain who will be displaced by 2030 but tens of millions will be driven away from their homes. He further called on developed countries to take a lead in tackling the crisis and pass on their expertise to poorer nations. The study compares for the first time the number of people affected by climate change in rich and poor countries. The populations most at risk it says are in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and the small island states of the Pacific.