Climate change is an enormous social risk
Climate protection is responsible for higher consumer prices and is therefore a social problem.
It is the changing climate that presents a dramatic social risk. If the world fails to limit global warming, it will be underprivileged groups and poor people who suffer most from climate change.
Climate change is not an abstract threat but has a massive impact on life
Percentage of land area affected by unusual heat and drought in global warming scenarios
Source: Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK), data based on World Bank report Turn Down the Heat 2014
According to the first Assessment Report by the Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC 2014) underprivileged people will suffer most from climate change. Different factors such as low income, low education, less social capital, working poor, bad living conditions, unemployment and limited opportunities combine to make them more vulnerable to the impacts of global warming. The costs of inaction are higher than those of ambitious climate protection. Government budgets in particular come under pressure from higher costs as a result of climate change.
Record temperatures in recent years have led to serious impacts such as droughts and weather extremes, e.g. cyclones. Higher global temperatures are affecting an increasingly large land area and increase the risk of disastrous droughts and highly unusual heats. In consequence food crises and massive migration movements result. To limit global warming is not only an environmental challenge but also a question of social justice, solidarity and global responsibility.