Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Climate change to cost Andean countries billions

Edie.net: Climate change could bring economic chaos to the countries crossed by the Andes as rising temperatures play havoc with the glaciers on which many of the region's industries rely. The annual cost of climate change in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru could be breaking the US$30bn barrier by 2025, according to South American scientists. This is the conclusion of a report prepared by Peru's former agriculture minister, Carlos Amat y León, for the Andean Community (CAN).

The document is a kind of Stern Report for the region, tallying the potential economic damage linked to glacial loss, flooding, disruption to water supply and more frequent occurrences of extreme weather events tied to El Niño. Mr Amat y Leon said: "Climate change is already happening. Floods, droughts, landslides, frosts, and landslips virtually doubled between 2002 and 2006, as compared with the five-year period 1987-1991.

"Since 1970, every single province in the CAN countries has experienced at least one hydrometeorological disaster." He said that climate change has been evident in the sub-region for over 30 years…

The Andes between Chile and Argentina, photo by Jorge Morales Píderit Moraleh, who has generously released the image into the public domain via Wikimedia Commons. Thank you, Jorge

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