Over 750 million people face food insecurity due to climate crisis

More than 750 million people are suffering from food insecurity, an increase of 35% since 2017, due to the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine and inflation, a report has found.

The annual Ecological Threat Report (ETR) produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) features some of the latest research from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll.

Of the 228 countries and territories monitored by the ETR, 56% face extreme ecological threat, such as water and food insecurity, which will be exacerbated as temperatures warm.

This could lead to natural disasters, which have cost an average of $200bn per annum over the last decade, and mass migration as refugees are forced to leave their homes.

23 of the 27 ‘hotspot’ countries facing the worst ecological threats and the lowest social resilience are based in sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa.

macro photography of brown sunflower

However, concern over the climate crisis has fallen by 1.5% since 2019, despite the risks at stake, with total average global concern at 48.7%.

Regions exposed to the worst ecological threats are on average the least concerned, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia rating war, terrorism, violence, and livelihoods as of greater concern.

In China, the world’s worst polluter, only 20% of respondents said the crisis was a serious concern, falling by 3% since 2019, one of the lowest ratings in the world.

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of IEP, said: ‘As we approach COP27, this report is a timely reminder that the costs of many of the existing ecological challenges will only be amplified by climate change. The world’s current approach to the countries suffering the worst climate-related issues is not working; ecological threats are increasing and have systemic causes that require systemic solutions.

‘Governments and international agencies must invest in building long-term resilience to avert future ecological destruction, forced migration and conflict. The Russia-Ukraine war highlights the effects of conflict on forced migration, with 12 – 14 million Ukrainians currently displaced in neighbouring countries. Developmental programmes should focus on micro enterprises which capture water, improve agriculture and on value-added manufacturing. This will improve the lives of the people who are suffering the most.’

The report also found several European countries will face water insecurity by 2040, including Greece, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

Pollution from cities is also a concern, as air pollution costs the world £8.1 trillion annually, 6.1% of GDP, and claims around 6-9 million lives.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski


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