Medellin, Colombia

Populations at risk in countries not considered high impact

Chilling Prospects 2022

Chapter 1.6

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Chilling Prospects 2021 included an analysis of the number of people at high risk due to a lack of access to sustainable cooling in countries not considered high impact, since localized heat vulnerability and lower socioeconomic status can create these risks even in middle-income or developed countries. Similarly, warming is not uniform within high-impact countries and regions, for example, approximately 42 million people in four high-impact countries (Argentina, Bolivia, China and Iran) live in regions where the threat of extreme heat is low, and hence they are less exposed to heat-related risks. 

The 2022 analysis found that across the 22 countries not considered high impact, [1]  but with regions that have extreme heat hazards, an additional 166.3 million people are estimated to be at risk due to a lack of access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions.

Table 1.6: Population with access to cooling risks in non-high-impact countries (2021–22 analysis, thousand)

This includes 30.7 million people at high risk in poor rural and urban areas, with 5.8 million among the rural poor and 25 million among the urban poor. Compared to last year, the number of rural poor in non-high-impact countries decreased by 61,900 people, while the number of urban poor decreased by 94,600 people. The most significant increase in the number of rural poor at risk among these countries was observed in Ethiopia, with an increase of 127,000 people at risk, while the largest decrease was observed in Nepal, with 311,000 fewer rural poor at risk. Nepal also saw the largest decrease in its urban poor, with 490,000 fewer people at risk, while Mexico had the largest increase, of approximately 293,000 additional urban poor at high risk. 

In addition, 72 million lower-middle-income people and 63.5 million middle-income people living in high-temperature regions were found to have cooling access risks in the 22 non-high-impact countries. This represents a decrease of 5 million and 987,000 in the respective categories. Nepal again saw significant decreases across both categories, with 4.4 million fewer lower-middle-income people and 960,000 fewer people among its middle-income population. The most substantial increases were observed in Ethiopia and Mexico. Ethiopia saw an increase of 388,000 people in its lower-middle-income population and 348,000 in its middle-income population, while Mexico saw an increase of 706,000 and 869,000 to those populations respectively.

Figure 1.16: Populations at risk in 22 non-high-impact countries 

Notes and references

[1] Afghanistan, Belize, Bhutan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and the West Bank and Gaza