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  • Writer's pictureJessica Proctor

Climate Change and Remittance Payments

Is it fair to low income countries that it is now harder to develop and industrialise than ever before?

Due to climate change, there is a continuous major threat to the development of low-income countries. There is also little demand for primary and secondary jobs globally as we need more tertiary and quaternary level skilled people and jobs. Low-income countries, however, cannot achieve proper growth without industrialising which will catastrophically affect our global climate by causing CO2 rates to soar.

Remittance payments are payments made from high-income countries to low-income countries to help with economy and development. The World Bank can also provide long term loans to these countries - but is this really the most effective use of money?

Remittance payments are proven to improve living conditions and healthcare in low-income countries, however, according to the World Bank remittance flows have risen to nearly $700 billion USD in 2019. That's up from just $2 billion USD in 1970! This stark increase in payments arises the question - how much has this contributed to climate change?

Saving the planet has become a trend; due to HIC’s selfish actions our globe is under threat, however, this poses a problem for LIC’s as it is making it very difficult for them to develop without contributing to the warming climate. The fastest-growing economies are Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 India received $69 billion dollars in remittances - the highest of any country. India is now one of the leading CO2 emitters with a high rise in factory labour.

In comparison, 25% of the GDP in Haiti is made up of remittances, but they are not as fast of a growing economy because of the need for constant spending on storm protection. Is it fair that they can't develop like other countries?

Kenya and Nigeria’s GDP’s have grown by just over 5.8% between 1985 and 2014. The highest growth rates were India and China at 6.8 and 7%. In the last couple of decades, India and China have become newly emerging economies. Several countries in Africa remain LIC’s, however, this huge recent growth suggests that they could begin major industrialisation and take steps to develop very soon. Moreover, many HIC’s are stopping this from happening due to their high releases of CO2. For example, when Donald Trump was in the presidency of America he left the Paris climate accord and was thus not legally obligated to control his nation’s CO2 emissions. Measures were still taken within the US to control the release of carbon, such as carbon capture, though it was highly expensive and an unsustainable method of preventing carbon release.

China had the highest CO2 release in 2020 at 9.01 billion tonnes of emissions, this compared to Kenya’s measly 0.39 metric tonnes, and they have pledged to reduce their emissions by 30% by 2030. Will their economy allow them to do this though? An increase in remittance payments will mean they have more and more money to develop, meaning more CO2 will be released, so it is actually unlikely.

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