Climate change

The impacts of climate change are complex. Sometimes gradual, sometimes sudden, but nearly always hitting the poor first and hitting them hardest.

Climate change and poverty

Climate change will affect everyone, but it will affect poor people in developing countries the most. How? It is changing rainfall patterns, drying up river beds, giving rise to newer and more harmful pests and creating a situation where natural disasters like cyclone, floods and landslides in developing countries are becoming more serious and widespread.

Poor communities already live on the front lines of pollution, disaster, and the degradation of resources and land. For instance, they’re often forced to live in temporary settlements, on land prone to flooding, storms and landslides.

Climate change poses a further threat to their livelihoods, economic sustainability and health, for instance by making planning of crops unpredictable or making availability of water difficult – all this often in an already precarious and conflict prone context.

To address this imbalance in “climate poverty”, we’re helping people cope with severe climate events worldwide, and we’re calling on world leaders to:

  • Give developing countries the resources they need to adapt to climate change
  • Reduce carbon emissions and put the needs of the poorest countries first

Adapting to climate change

Oxfam is working to help people adapt to the effects of climate change.

Our experience as a development and emergency relief organization is instrumental in assisting communities to build their resilience to more frequent and extreme droughts, floods and weather events.

We do this through new technologies, diversifying livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and by helping people organize themselves to get help and determine solutions.

Reducing emissions

Adaptation alone is not enough. We must also alleviate the problem.

Oxfam advocates on a national and international level for aggressive and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions so that global temperatures do not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Learn more about our climate change campaign, and find out what you can do to help.