Livelihoods and poverty

Lennart Olsson, Maggie Opondo, Petra Tschakert, Arun Agrawal, Siri Eriksen, Shiming Ma, Leisa Perch, Sumaya Zakieldeen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)
390 Downloads (Pure)


Scope, Delineations, and Definitions: Livelihoods, Poverty, and Inequality Understanding the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and poverty requires examining the complexities of poverty and the lives of poor and non-poor people, as well as the multifaceted and cross-scalar intersections of poverty and livelihoods with climate change. This chapter is devoted to exploring poverty in relation to climate change, a novelty in the IPCC. It uses a livelihood lens to assess the interactions between climate change and multiple dimensions of poverty. We use the term "the poor," not to homogenize, but to describe people living in poverty, people facing multiple deprivations, and the socially and economically disadvantaged, as part of a conceptualization broader than income-based measures of poverty, acknowledging gradients of prosperity and poverty. This livelihood lens also reveals how inequalities perpetuate poverty to shape differential vulnerabilities and in turn the differentiated impacts of climate change on individuals and societies. The chapter first presents the concepts of livelihoods, poverty, and inequality, and their relationships to each other and to climate change. Second, it describes observed impacts of weather events and climate on livelihoods and rural and urban poor people as well as projected impacts up to 2100. We use "weather events and climate" as an umbrella term for climate change, climate variability, and extreme events, and also highlight subtle shifts in precipitation and localized weather events. Third, this chapter discusses impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation responses on livelihoods and poverty. Finally, it outlines implications for poverty alleviation efforts and climate-resilient development pathways. Livelihoods and Poverty is a new chapter in the AR5. Although the WGII AR4 contributions mentioned poverty, as one of several non-climatic factors contributing to vulnerability, as a serious obstacle to effective adaptation, and in the context of endemic poverty in Africa (Chapters 7, 8, 18, 20), no systematic assessment was undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Subtitle of host publicationPart A: Global and Sectoral Aspects
Place of PublicationCambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781107415379
ISBN (Print)9781107415386
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Livelihoods and poverty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects: Volume 1, Global and Sectoral Aspects: Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    Field, C. B., Van Aalst, M., Aalst, M. V., Adger, W. N., Arent, D., Barnett, J., Betts, R., Bilir, E., Birkmann, J., Carmin, J., Chadee, D., Challinor, A., Chatterjee, M., Cramer, W., Davidson, D., Estrada, Y., Gattuso, J-P., Hijioka, Y., Guldberg, O. H., Huang, H-Q., & 37 othersInsarov, G., Jones, R., Kovats, S., Lankao, P. R., Larsen, J. N., Losada, I., Marengo, J., McLean, R., Mearns, L., Mechler, R., Morton, J., Niang, I., Oki, T., Olwoch, J. M., Opondo, M., Poloczanska, E., Pörtner, H-O., Redsteer, M. H., Reisinger, A., Revi, A., Schmidt, D., Shaw, R., Solecki, W., Stone, D., Stone, J., Strzepek, K., Suarez, A., Tschakert, P., Valentini, R., Vicuna, S., Villamizar, A., Vincent, K., Warren, R., White, L., Wilbanks, T., Wong, P. P. & Yoh, G., 2014, Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. field, C. & Barros, V. (eds.). USA: IPCC, Vol. 1. p. 1-1101

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

    Open Access

Cite this