Nearshore Americas
climate change extreme weather

41 Million Latin Americans Face Disastrous Environmental Crisis

An environmental crisis threatens 41 million people in Latin America, approximately 6% of the region’s population.

The warning comes from a recent study by the United Nations, which tells of the effects of climate change in the lives of millions of Latin Americans.

If global temperatures keep rising at the current rate, the UN’s report warns, the region could experience devastating droughts and hurricanes in the coming years.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlighted that 2023 was the worst year on record for environmental disasters in Latin America.

The intense drought in the Brazilian Amazon dried up the Negro River to levels unseen in the past 120 years.

Water levels in the Panama Canal dropped so much that shipping activities were intermittently halted due to disruptions in vessel movement.

By the end of the year, 76% of Mexico was grappling with some degree of drought.

May 2024 saw record-breaking temperatures across Latin America. Mexico and several Central American countries, including Costa Rica, experienced unprecedented heatwaves.

The UN report also indicates that low-lying Caribbean coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Sign up for our Nearshore Americas newsletter:

In Aruba, the Cayman Islands, Suriname, the Bahamas and Guyana, over 80% of hospitals are located in these low-lying coastal zones. In the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, Ecuador (11.9%), Haiti (10%) and Brazil (7.2%) have the highest concentrations of medical centers in similarly vulnerable areas.

The report underscores the urgent need for comprehensive climate action to mitigate these severe impacts and protect the millions at risk across the region.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

Add comment