A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that it is some of the poorest parts of the world that will be most affected by global warming, namely sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Asia will be the worst hit region when it comes to rising sea levels, while some people already blame shrinking farmland for the conflict in Darfur.
But at the same time, Russia's climate will become milder and the melting permafrost in Siberia could make it easier for mining companies to search for new mineral sources, as well as opening up new tracts of inhabitable, arable land.
Oil companies could also welcome the rapid shrinking of the polar ice caps, making it easier for them to find and exploit new oil sources. Even Britain's climate, in common with the rest of Northern Europe, will improve.
There is increasing concern that the effects of global warming could lead to new kinds of international conflict. Water shortages, for example, are already leading to unrest in parts of rural China; the discovery of new oil sources could lead to new territorial disputes in areas that are presently of no real value.
At the same time, developing economies will be arguing against restrictions on carbon output made by Western countries, as they fight for their slice of the global wealth pie.
Global warming could prove as tricky a problem for politicians and diplomats as it is for scientists and environmentalists.
Source: Climate change is not a global crisis - that is the problem
The Financial Times
Review by Jennifer Whitehead