Thursday, October 17, 2013

0.3% of GDP Would Protect East Asia from Climate Change - ADB Report

A press release from the Asia Development Bank: About 12 million people in 23 East Asian cities are at risk from rising sea levels, severe storms, and more intense drought caused by climate change that could jeopardize $864 billion in assets, a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns.

Economics of Climate Change in East Asia notes that while climate adaptation investments can be large, the aggregate cost to protect the most vulnerable sectors - infrastructure, coastal protection, and agriculture - would be less than 0.3% of East Asia’s gross domestic product every year between 2010 and 2050.

“This report shows that the cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of climate change adaptation if countries act now,” said Ayumi Konishi, Director General of ADB’s East Asia Department. “Climate change not only brings challenges to East Asia, but also opportunities for stronger regional cooperation.”

The report recommends the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Mongolia together to invest an annual average of $22.9 billion for climate-proofing in the infrastructure sector, $4.2 billion for coastal protection, and $9.5 billion for the agriculture sector.

The report projects that severe weather related to climate change will intensify, with one-in-20-year flooding predicted to occur as frequently as every four years by 2050. When combined with rising sea levels, this is expected to cause massive swaths of land to disappear, forcing millions to migrate, and wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture. Since 1970, economic losses to the four countries from climate-related natural disasters have amounted to more than $340 billion....

Infographic from the ADB website

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