Climate change mitigation and poverty reduction: Here’s what a study says

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Ambitious climate policies can reduce the poverty levels in developing nations if governments opted for robust taxes on emitters that’re then equitably distributed to help the underprivileged, a new study showed.

The research, published in Nature Communications, stated policymakers were facing a false choice between combating climate change and reducing poverty levels.

Using computer models, researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) predicted how poverty levels get affected by several interventions aimed at mitigating global warming.

Since fossil fuels and fertilizers are so heavily subsidized, any attempt to reduce or remove taxpayer support to these non-sustainable practices often creates fears of higher prices for consumers.

Industrialists also state that economical energy sources like coal have an important role to play in increasing access to electricity in developing nations.

“Climate policies safeguard people from climate change impacts like extreme weather risks or crop failure,” said Bjoern Soergel, a PIK researcher and lead author of the study, published in Nature Communications.

“Yet they can also imply increased energy and food prices. This could result in an additional burden especially from the global poor, who are already more vulnerable to climate impacts,” Soergel added