Economic risk reduction
The higher temperatures, droughts, floods and natural disasters that may result from climate change can be expected to exacerbate economic insecurity in developing regions, with the world's poorest nations most at risk. Lack of resources increases vulnerability to climate shocks, while the conditions that enable societies to cope - such as social safety nets and unemployment insurance - are largely absent in low-income countries. Under such conditions, unpredictable climate patterns may even cause poverty by discouraging domestic and foreign investment.
Ultimately, the economic costs and losses of climate change can prevent countries from reaching the internationally-agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. Natural disasters are known to have a significantly negative impact on the macroeconomic health of poor countries, manifested in fiscal imbalance, economic stagnation, and deteriorating balances of payments. The economic cost of droughts and floods, including compensation for lost land, may also polarize society and marginalize communities, increasing the risk of conflict.
Addressing current vulnerabilities is necessary to enhance resilience to future effects of climate change. In the event of a natural disaster, for example, vulnerable countries all too often keep focused on disaster recovery instead of economic development. Yet economic growth is critical to reducing vulnerability. More resources mean greater access to technology, alternative means of making a living and protection from extreme weather events. Resilience is about maintaining the delivery of vital services and resources into the long term, even while adapting to shocks and complex change.
Through its analytical work on economic projections and socioeconomic conditions, DESA provides insight into how to overcome economic risk, create employment and promote inclusive development.
Dialogue, research, analysis
- World Economic and Social Survey
- March 2007
- Developing index-based insurance for agriculture in developing countries
- March 2006
- Overcoming economic vulnerability and creating employment, 8th session of the Committee for Development Policy
Case studies 2007
- The result of the project is the revitalised facility of the former state farm, extended by the buildings of former military garrison, in which more than two dozen small and mid-size companies are ...Learn more
Case studies 2006
- La actuación se realizó en Telpaneca, ciudad nicaragüense, situada en el Norte del país, cerca de la frontera de Honduras y sobre el río Coco. Tiene aproximadamente 5.000 habitantes en su... Learn more
- La isla de Mallorca se encuentra en el Mediterráneo Occidental, y en su costa sur se encuentra el municipio de Calviá, con una superficie de 145 km2, 55 Km. de costa, 40.000 habitantes de derecho... Learn more
- In an effort to ameliorate the living conditions of the slum dwellers, the U.S. Embassy's Self-Help Program assists small grassroots and local community projects and currently supports 61 projects Learn more
- The Westlake Estate project is the result of a partnership between the private sector developers Rabie Property Projects and Cavcor Property Group (which joined forces as RABCAV) and the South African... Learn more
- A decision by the Government of Belguim in July 2005 ensures that social and sustainability criteria are considered when funding 'flexible mechanisms' for meeting its Kyoto commitments...Learn more
- As the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) works to improve global climate observations, a second major thrust in its programme of activities is its Regional Workshop Programme... Learn more
- Where local governments have encouraged the production of renewable energy, their communities have realized economic benefits and secured their energy supply, further attracting new industrial develop...Learn more
- ABB's Access to Electricity program explores business models that facilitate electrification of low-income populations in developing countries, where local culture and established practices have not...Learn more