Social Impacts of Climate Change in Brazil: A municipal level analysis of the effects of recent and future climate change on income, health and inequality

ABSTRACT:

The paper uses data from 5,507 municipalities in Brazil to estimate the relationships between climate and income as well as climate and health, and then uses the estimated relationships to gauge the effects of past and future climate change on income levels and life expectancy in each of these municipalities. The simulations indicate that climate change over the past 50 years has tended to cause an overall drop in incomes in Brazil of about four percent, with the initially poorer and hotter municipalities in the north and northeast Brazil suffering bigger losses than the initially richer and cooler municipalities in the south. The simulations thus suggest that climate change has contributed to an increase in inequality between Brazilian municipalities, as well as to an increase in poverty. The climate change projected for the next 50 years is estimated to have similar, but more pronounced effects, causing an overall reduction in incomes of about 12 percent, holding all other things constant. Again, the initially poorer municipalities in the already hot northern regions are likely to suffer more from additional warming than the initially richer and cooler municipalities in the south, indicating that projected future climate change would tend to contribute to increased poverty and income inequality in Brazil.

Working Paper N° 08/2010

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