Climate change is a major threat to all of us – but particularly to millions of people living in poverty.
The rich countries produce most of the greenhouse gases, yet it is the poorest countries that are being hit the hardest. Climate change disrupts seasonal patterns, which can impact on crops. Increased floods, droughts, cyclones and storms bring severe hunger, poverty and disease meaning more lives are at risk.
Water shortages already leave up to 3 billion people in countries across the Middle East and Asia desperate for water for much of the year, and will only get worse. The vast majority of water use is for irrigating crops, but shorter rainy seasons in dry areas will lower crop yields and could increase the number of undernourished people globally by 50 million - with around half of these children. Water shortages could eventually displace up to three quarters of a billion people.
In contrast, wet areas will see longer rains and more storms and floods, hitting the poorest and least well prepared countries hardest. 70% of natural disasters deaths are already water related, with floods and extreme weather events doubling within decades and tsunamis becoming even more deadly with rising sea levels. If no action is taken to curb carbon emissions, sea level rises of over a metre will eventually displace 50 million people globally - largely in developing countries - as land is submerged.
And people living in poverty are more vulnerable for a number of reasons. For instance, they’re often forced to live in temporary settlements, on land prone to flooding, storms and landslides.
Global leaders from rich countries have already accepted this responsibility – pledging $100bn per year by 2020 to fund low-carbon development and adaptation in poor countries.
But the fund hasn't been filled. And time is running out.
The Robin Hood Tax could raise billions every year to fight climate change, help people adapt to the changing climate and develop green economies.