Economies of poor and developing countries will be worst impacted by climate change and are least prepared to adapt to global warming, the latest report says.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has scored 82 countries on their ability and willingness to respond to global warming impacts.
Overall, it says the world’s economy will be three percent smaller by 2050 on account of climate change compared with baseline projections.
It also found that poorer regions will be most impacted.
All up, the EIU found that Africa will be 4.7 percent worse off in terms of real gross domestic product as a result of climate change by 2050 compared with what would have been the case had global temperatures remained constant.
This was followed by Latin America (3.8 percent), the Middle East (3.7 percent), Eastern Europe (3.0 percent) and the Asia Pacific (2.6 percent).
Regions such as Western Europe and North America, by contrast, will lose only 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent of their real GDP respectively.
Moreover, the report shows that poorer regions are less prepared to adapt their economies.
In an index measuring preparedness to adapt and respond to climate change over the next three decades, Africa has the lowest score of 2.5 out of five followed by Latin America (2.8), the Middle East (2.9) and Eastern Europe (3.3).
The EIU cites several factors which contribute to this.
Many poorer countries lie in tropical areas and face greater geographical exposure to climate change.
Poor housing and infrastructure can make economies in these regions more vulnerable to extreme weather.
Third, economies of many poorer nations are more highly exposed to agriculture — often subsistence and rain-fed cultivation —or have industries featuring more outdoor work which will see lower productivity as temperatures rise.
Competition over dwindling supplies of fertile land and deteriorating food security may also lead to social unrest.
Finally, the EIU notes that many poorer nations lack the financial, institutional and political wherewithal to adapt to climate change.
An example is Angola, which EIU says will lose 6 percent of its GDP by 2050 compared with what would have been the case if temperatures had remained constant.