New research published today in the journal Reports that poor UK households are more vulnerable to climate change because temperature shocks are linked to deepening wealth inequality. Environmental science and pollution research.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and institutions in South Africa and Germany examined wealth inequality data against climate from the period 2006-2018 to ascertain how both changes in temperature and climatic shocks, such as extreme heat, affect wealth inequality in the Kingdom. United.
The study used wealth inequality data from the Office for National Statistics, while monthly temperature data was collected from the Met Office, using year-on-year temperature growth and variability shocks as measures of climate risk.
The study found that both growth in temperature and temperature extremes had positive and statistically significant effects on all measures of wealth inequality over the long term. This was particularly evident when comparing the richest 10% of households with the poorest 10%.
It also found that climate risk shocks hurt the poorest and the richest, exacerbating wealth inequality in the long term. Researchers believe this may be due to several factors, including the impact on the health of the poor due to increased air pollution and the impact on food supply chains.
The study also found that when climate shocks impact, wealth inequality increases significantly between the wealthiest households by 20% and 10% compared to the middle-wealth households, while also reducing inequality between the middle- and poorest household.
Lead author Dr. Xin Sheng, Associate Professor in the School of Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said, “Even in high-income countries, poorer people can also be more vulnerable to the impact of climate change. For example, the UK has the largest number of heatwave deaths in 2020, and it also has the highest level of income inequality compared to other developed countries in Europe.”
“The findings highlight the disproportionately increasing burden of climate change on households already in poverty, particularly households in areas with high climatic risk. For example, climate change can pose a serious health threat through food insecurity and increased toxic air pollution. Extreme weather can affect crop production, which can lead to higher food and fuel costs.”
“As such, mitigation measures to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change must be designed so as not to burden the poor.”
Xin Sheng et al, Climate Shocks and Wealth Inequality in the United Kingdom: Evidence from Monthly Data, Environmental science and pollution research (2023). DOI: 10.1007/s11356-023-27342-1
the quotePoorer British households are more vulnerable to climate shocks (2023, June 1), new research says. Retrieved June 1, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-poor-uk-households-vulnerable-climate. html
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