Using global atmospheric reanalyses, this research shows that the world’s lowest-income countries are already experiencing greater increases in the occurrence of temperature extremes compared to the highest income countries. This aspect of global warming is well known but overlooked in current international climate policy agreements and this study argues that it is an important factor in reducing inequity due to climate impacts.
The findings give weight to arguments developed by many low-income countries to justify an increase in their adaptation finance as they have already experienced disproportionately adverse impacts from global warming—and are likely to continue to do so.
These findings also lend support to calls for explicit loss and damage compensation. The paper argues that mechanisms to distribute various types of human and financial resources currently in place through existing international climate agreements may be inadequate and that considering a country’s historical climate trends can more fairly inform compensation.
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017). This study is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence (CC BY 3.0).