Reliable scientific evidence notices Earth’s climate system is irrevocably changing. Global temperatures are continuously breaking new records and oceans are warmer than ever. Ice sheets are shrinking, Arctic sea ice is declining and glaciers melt down inch by inch. Sea level rose about eight inches in the last century and it is expected to increment a couple of metres by 2100. Extreme events, such as droughts, wildfires, and floods, are sharper and even more usual.
Huge variations on climate characteristics have direct effects on ecosystems and human activities. However, major effects of Climate Change will not be consequence of natural catastrophes but responses to progressive impoverishment of life standards. For instance, changing precipitation and temperature regimes are altering hydrological systems, affecting the quality and the availability of freshwater, and have a negative impact on crop yields and fishing.
Climate change is also projected to undermine food security: fisheries production will diminish on all continents and across the oceans, and rice, wheat and maize production will decrease drastically in tropical and temperate regions. Renewable surface water and groundwater resources are expected to get dry, especially in most of subtropical regions. Those changes exacerbate human health problems and create hotspots of hunger.
Poverty will worsen with climate change, too. Poor people and poor countries are more exposed, and then more vulnerable to all kind of climate-related shocks. They lose a larger part of their assets because their dwelling is often their main asset and because they live in buildings with low resistance to natural hazards. In addition, they have fewer resources to prevent those damages, but also to cope and adapt their lives to climate changing conditions.
It also affects the poverty threshold, dragging part of the middle class into poverty. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculations, climate change could result in additional 100 million people living in extreme poverty by 2030. At regional level, the hotspots are Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and to a lesser extent, the rest of South Asia. For instance, approximately a million people along the coasts of south and southeast Asia will likely be at risk of flooding as a consequence of the sea level rise.
One of the most significant impacts of climate change on humanity is the prospect of significant migration flows. As stated on The International Displacement Monitoring Centre’s most recent studies, 21’5 million people have already been displaced each year by the threat of climate-related events since 2008. Forecasts predict 200 million environmental migrants by 2050.
Environmental migrants should be added to a myriad of economic migrants and refugees that will leave their houses in a chance for a better life: just in 2015, the amount of displaced people around the World exceeded 60 millions. Most of them are hosted by developing countries, particularly those that are proximate to displaced people’s origin. Poor countries taking in poor people. Consequently, millions of people will continue settling in refugee camps or urban slums under living standards.
As poor people leaving their houses tend to settle down on cheap and marginal places, they will be at risk to suffer the effects of environmental hazards again. For this reason, it is essential to identifywelcome settlements located on unsafe places to reallocate people and to stop its expansion.
However, shelters tend to be forgotten because they are supposed to stay for a short term on refugee camps. Does not mind if welcome settlements are not enough good designed. Reality shows that a large part of them will not afford a better place. Consequently, there is no reason for such structural deficiencies. Refugee camps should be recognized as urban places, and thoroughly planned as such. Planning has a transformational role at social level since it deals with the spatial manifestations of poverty.