Climate impacts can impede economic development and undermine a country’s self-reliance. For developing countries whose economies largely depend on natural resources, shifts in climate are potentially devastating. Climate variability and change cause reduced agricultural yields, changing water quantity and quality, and damaged infrastructure systems. Impacts on the workforce include heat stress for field workers, shifting and expansion of disease transmission zones, and increased opportunities for disease transmission. All of these impacts create a drain on already fragile economies and divert capital that could otherwise be channeled into expanding businesses.
At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions are strongly related to conventional economic development. These include unsustainable land and natural resource use, more deforestation, increased emissions from changes in agricultural or industrial technology use, and increased emissions from construction of roads, energy systems, and other infrastructure.
There are strategies to reduce emissions and increase resilience in the economic growth sector, such as promoting “green” industries, establishing carbon taxes or carbon emissions trading systems, expanding financial services (lines of credit, insurance) to climate-sensitive industries, and improving the efficiency and management of water supplies. Climate resilient economic development can also be supported by strengthening governance systems, such as improved policies in support of sustainable land use or enhanced government capacity to manage disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts.