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Global warming hits the poorest hardest, new research shows

Finding published today in Geophysical Research Letters, states that while Australia will still be “the lucky country when it comes to changes in local climate as a result of climate change if global average surface temperatures reach the 1.5°C or 2°C limit set by the Paris agreement.” Our neighbours, including Indonesia will be hit the hardest.

The research from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes compares the difference between climate change impacts on wealthy nations like Australia and poorer nations like Indonesia.

Andrew King of the University of Melbourne and the study’s lead author said the results are a stark example of the inequalities that come with global warming.

“The richest countries that produced the most emissions are the least affected by heat when average temperatures climb to just 2°C, while poorer nations bear the brunt of changing local climates and the consequences that come with them,” Dr King said.

“Economically powerful nations, who are most responsible for the emissions that led to global warming, are going to have to pick up the slack if they want to maintain economic growth in developing countries,” said University of Oxford co-author Luke Harrington.

“It’s why we need to invest in limiting the worst impacts of climate change for developing nations today,” Dr Harrington said.

“By assisting developing nations to meet these challenges we help maintain their economic stability and security into the future and by extension, our own as well.”

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