Saturday, December 13, 2014

UN report says climate change adaptation costs could be much higher than thought

I'm a little late with this, but the point bears repeating... Eric Lyman at Bloomberg News via Energy and Climate Report: Efforts to adapt to climate change in the developing world could cost several times previous estimates, regardless of how successful negotiations are to reduce emissions, the United Nations said Dec. 5 at the Lima climate change conference. Estimates of a potential tripling of earlier forecast costs were revealed in the UN Environment Program’s first Adaptation Gap Report, released on Day 5 of the international climate talks in the Peruvian capital.

“The current global estimates of the costs of adaptation report a range of US$70 billion to US$100 billion per year globally by 2050 (for developing countries),” the report said. “The findings of this review suggest these values are likely to be a significant underestimate, particularly in the years 2030 and beyond. As a minimum, it seems likely that the costs of adaptation will be two to three times higher than current global estimates.”

Countries have agreed to provide at least $10 billion this year to help fund adaptation efforts in developing countries, with a goal of ramping up to $100 billion annually by 2020. But the UNEP report said that might not be nearly enough.

The report said adaptation costs will likely be higher than previously expected, regardless of what happens in negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, talks that are expected to culminate late in 2015 with a global agreement in Paris...

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