Over the past years, the global temperature has reached an alarming scale causing climactic volatility, which led to frequent and extreme weather events. The sudden shift in the climate system not only resulted to environmental threats, it also made a great impact on poverty.

Climate change had made the lives of people in poor communities and countries more complex. Their dependence on natural resources to live and their limited capacity to cope with climate extremes and variability made these people more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

According to the Global Humanitarian Forum’s report titled “The Human Impact of Climate Change”, it claims that 315,000 people are dying every year as a result of climate change. Most of these people died from hunger because their environment, which had been their ally is now their worst foe. The sudden shift of their climate system not only affected their crops but it also posed a great threat to their health.

During an interview hosted by the Global Poverty Project, a Ugandan Farmer said that when he was young, his farmland was very cold. Now, the area is warmer. Before 1970, people in his area did not know what Malaria was. The mosquitoes that spread Malaria thrived in his land due to the high temperature. At present, Malaria is the number one cause of death in the area.

This is one of the confronting and meaningful information that needs immediate action. As Kiribati President, Anote Tong, said, “Some industrialized countries have argued that climate change would hurt their economic development, sadly, I say no. Climate change is not an issue of economic growth. It is an issue of human survival.”

Moreover, the result from the recent Climate Change talk held at Germany last July 2009 revealed that it is not enough for industrialized countries to commit in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Leaders and head of states from rich countries must also understand the scale of the threat climate change poses and therefore, they must take ambitious steps to face it.

Rich countries and communities must not hold back and delay in taking action. Money is not a problem. It is always there but the political will is not. It is only a matter of time when food shortage, drought and public safety that endangers the people of poor countries will become irreversible.

Similar to conflicts like disease and economics, climate change has left leaders from rich nations with two options, which are to grab this chance to help reduce poverty by supporting poor countries with increased funding and shared technology, which will help poor people adapt to climate change or build high walls and hide from the consequences of their unjust decisions.