Thematic axes Global Challenges

"Climate change, health and inequalities" by Marc Fleurbaey

Marc Fleurbaey, Ph.D. in Economics at the École des Hautes Études in Social Sciences of Paris and Professor at the University of Princeton, led  the conference on "Climate change, health and inequalities" at Palau Macaya, linking two of Re-City's challenges  - "Combating inequalities" and "Facing climate change."

Fleurbaey compared the global temperature in 1900 to 2017, showing that in the last 30 years there has been a dramatic increase in average temperature at the planetary level. Fleurbaey argues that climate change not only has an impact on people's health, but also punishes the most vulnerable.

Fleurbaey is a climate change economist. There is a widespread consensus among these economists that global solutions are needed. In spite of this, there are different opinions regarding the urgency of the measures and how much emissions should be reduced by. For Fleurbaey, we should not only focus on ethical parameters, but also on issues such as the importance of economic growth and economic convergence. His integrated evaluation model demonstrates the importance of the relationship between climate change and inequalities across regions and countries.

The increase in population in also relevant for climate change policies, according to Fleurbaey. If present-day developing countries become stronger economies but with a relatively small population, there will be proportionally fewer people suffering the effects of climate change. On the other hand, if the current developed economies do not experience economic growth and population growth is high, then a greater number of people will bear the costs of climate change.