A recent report by UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, highlights the devastating consequences of climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. It highlights the risks of a climate apartheid, in which the rich will have the means to protect themselves from the negative consequences of climate change while the worst effects will be suffered by those at the bottom of the pyramid.
This possibility of the rich and powerful to shield themselves from the worst that is to come from climate change is one of the reasons of the current failure to act that are discussed in the report. The report urges all actors of society to engage in the profound economic and social transformations that are required to address the current climate crises. This is at the core of the current research conducted by researchers working with innovation for sustainable development and sustainability transformations.
Addressing climate change will require a fundamental shift in the global economy and how States have historically sought prosperity, decoupling improvements in economic well-being and poverty reduction from resource depletion, fossil fuel emissions, and waste production. This will entail radical and systemic changes including incentives, pricing, regulation, and resource allocation, in order to disrupt unsustainable approaches and reflect environmental costs in entire economic subsystems including energy, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation
 UN Expert report