Thursday, June 18, 2009

Climate change will have 'severe' impact on Asia

Times of India: Climate change impacts such as lower crop production will have severe effects on Asia and a broader climate pact being negotiated this year is crucial to minimizing the effects, a UN official said on Wednesday. Developed nations are under intense pressure to agree to deep 2020 cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to try to seal an agreement at the end of this year that will replace the Kyoto Protocol.

"Climate change impacts will be overwhelmingly severe for Asia," Eric Hall, spokesman for the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, told a forum at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. "They will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and they have the potential to throw countries back into the poverty trap."

Asia's rapidly growing population is already home to more than half of humanity and a large portion of the world's poorest people. Hall said climate change had started threatening development in the region and could continue to put agricultural production and food security at risk by the 2020s.

…Other participants at the ADB forum on climate change at its headquarters think nations cannot afford to set aside climate concerns. "One might say, we can sequence this first, get the financial crisis under control and then turn to other issues regarding climate," said Vinod Thomas from the World Bank.

"But that luxury doesn't exist anymore. The big question in financing would be whether in addition to the funds that we're talking about, all the money that is going into fiscal expansion would have salutary effects on the climate crisis."…

Entering the temple at Angkor Wat, shot by Ivan Marcialis, Italy, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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