Here is how climate change will potentially affect MDGs. It is sourced from South Asia Climate Change Strategy, 2009, pp.105-106.
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (Goal 1)
- Climate change is projected to reduce poor people’s livelihood assets such as health, access to water, homes, and infrastructure.
- Climate change is expected to alter the path and rate of economic growth due to changes in natural systems and resources, infrastructure, and labor productivity. A reduction in economic growth directly impacts poverty through reduced income opportunities.
- Climate change is projected to alter regional food security. In Africa, in particular, food security is expected to worsen.
Health-related goals (Goals 4, 5 and 6)
- Combat major diseases
- Reduce infant mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Direct effects of climate change include increases in heat related mortality and illness associated with heat waves (which may be balanced by less winter cold-related deaths in some regions).
- Climate change may increase the prevalence of some vector-borne diseases (for example, malaria and dengue fever), and vulnerability to water-, food- or person-to-person borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
- Children and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vector- and water-borne diseases. Anemia – resulting from malaria – is responsible for a quarter of maternal mortality
- Climate change will likely result in declining quantity and quality of drinking water, which is a prerequisite for good health, and it may also exacerbate malnutrition – an important cause of ill health among children – by reducing natural resource productivity and threatening food security, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Achieve universal primary education (Goal 2)
- Links to climate change are less direct, but loss of livelihoods assets (social, natural, physical, human and financial capital) may reduce opportunities for full time education in numerous ways. Natural disasters and drought reduce children’s available time (which may be diverted to household tasks), while displacement and migration can reduce access to education opportunities.
Promote gender equality and empower women (Goal 3)
- Climate change is expected to exacerbate current gender inequalities. Depletion of natural resources and decreasing agricultural productivity may place additional burdens on women’s health and reduce time available to participate in decision-making processes and income-generating activities.
- Climate-related disasters have been found to impact more severely on female-headed households, particularly where they have fewer assets to start with.
Ensure environmental sustainability (Goal 7)
- Climate change will alter the quality and productivity of natural resources and ecosystems, some of which may be irreversibly damaged, and these changes may also decrease biological diversity and compound existing environmental degradation.
- Global climate change is a global issue and response requires global cooperation, especially to help developing countries to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.