Herd boys pull out an ox stuck in muddy waters in the drying Mabwematema dam 20km North of Zvishavane, on December 25, 2019.
Zinyange Auntony | AFP | Getty Images
Countries and regions with lower per capita GDP levels are generally more exposed to climate change, according to McKinsey Global Institute’s newest climate risk report.
“Poorer regions often have climates that are closer to physical thresholds. They rely more on outdoor work and natural capital and have less financial means to adapt quickly,” the report said.
For example, a changing climate “could both improve and degrade food system performance,” the report said. In some regions, crop yields may increase, while in others environmental conditions could cause some crops to fail entirely, according to McKinsey.
Countries like Canada, Russia, and parts of northern Europe may benefit slightly from the change in climate conditions as warmer temperatures may lead to greater agricultural yields, according to the global consulting firm.
According to McKinsey, since the 1880s, the average global temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius with significant regional variations.
As the climate changes, hazards are likely to intensify and have a broader physical impact, affecting more regions. McKinsey said that in turn would hit its workability indicator, which measures outdoor working hours lost to extreme heat and humidity. It also factors in hazards like heat stress, heatstroke and other human health conditions affected by the change in climate.
McKinsey found that the top quartile of countries, based on GDP per capita, will have a much smaller increase in risk by 2050 than the bottom quartile when it comes to its workability indicator.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, countries that derive a significant percentage of their GDP from agriculture could be most at risk as intense heat and precipitation kill crops and delay fieldwork.