Ignored Climate Change Could Reverse Hard Work of Development in Asia – New Report

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES (July 14, 2017) - Climate change left unchecked will have grave consequences for countries in Asia and the Pacific, because it could adversely affect future growth, make the achievements of development that have been achieved to be in vain, and Reduce quality of life. This was the report made by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

If no action is taken on climate change, it is projected that there will be a temperature rise of 6 degrees Celsius across the Asian continent by the end of this century. Some countries may experience a much warmer climate, with projected temperature rises of up to 8 degrees Celsius in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the northwestern region of the People's Republic of China, according to a report entitled " A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific . "

This temperature rise will bring drastic changes to the region, including weather systems, agriculture and fisheries, terrestrial and marine biodiversity, domestic and regional security, trade, urban development, migration and health. Such scenarios can even threaten the existence of a number of countries in the region, and destroy any hope of achieving sustainable and inclusive development.

"The global climate crisis can be said to be the biggest challenge facing human civilization in the 21st century, and the Asia-Pacific region is in the vortex of the crisis," said Bambang Susantono, ADB Vice President of Knowledge and Sustainable Development. "As a region occupied by two-thirds of the world's poor, and is seen as one of the most vulnerable areas of climate change, countries in Asia and the Pacific are at the highest risk of getting lost in poverty - and disasters - if mitigation and adaptation efforts are not Implemented as soon and seriously as possible. "

"Countries in Asia hold the future of this Earth. If the region chooses to protect itself against dangerous climate change, it will help save the entire Earth, "said Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK Director. "There are two interrelated challenges. On the one hand, Asia's greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in such a way that the global community can limit the warming of the Earth to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed in 2015 in Paris. However, just to adapt to a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius is a very tough task. "

"So on the other hand, Asian countries should look for strategies to ensure prosperity and security within a healthy global development framework amidst unavoidable climate change," Prof. continued. Schellnhuber. "Unlocked great economic opportunities if Asia can lead the clean industry revolution. Asia will also be an important actor in 21st century multilateralism if it can examine the best strategy to absorb shocks to environmental change. "

Increasingly intense tropical cyclones and cyclones are expected to hit Asia and the Pacific as global temperatures rise. If no action is taken, annual rainfall is expected to rise by 50% in most of the region's land, although countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan may experience 20-50% rainfall decline.

Coastal areas and lowlands in this region will be increasingly at risk of flooding. Nineteen (19) of the 25 most affected cities if sea levels rise one meter are in this area, and seven of them are in the Philippines. However, the country in the region most affected by coastal flooding is Indonesia, with about 5.9 million people affected every year until 2100.

The increasing vulnerability to floods and other disasters will have a major impact on the region - and the world - economically. The global losses due to flooding are expected to rise to $ 52 billion per year by 2050 from $ 6 billion in 2005. In addition, 13 of the 20 cities with the biggest losses due to annual floods from 2005 to 2050 are in Asia and the Pacific: Jakarta (Indonesia); Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Zhanjiang, and Xiamen (PRC); Mumbai, Chennai-Madras, Surat, and Calcutta (India); Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam); Bangkok (Thailand); And Nagoya (Japan).

Climate change will also make food production in this region more difficult and increase production costs. In some Southeast Asian countries, rice yields may decrease by 50% by 2100 if no adaptation is made. Meanwhile, almost all food crops in Uzbekistan are projected to decline by 20-50% by 2050, even at a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (based on the Paris Deal scenario). Food shortages can increase the number of malnourished children in South Asia to 7 million people, as import costs in this sub-region are expected to rise from $ 2 billion annually, to $ 15 billion per year by 2050.

Climate change also brings great risks to health in Asia and the Pacific. Currently alone, 3.3 million people die each year from the bad effects of outdoor air pollution, with the People's Republic of China (RRT), India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as the four countries with the most deaths. In addition, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), elderly deaths due to the region's hot temperatures are expected to rise to about 52,000 cases in 2050 due to climate change. Deaths associated with vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue are also expected to increase.

No action taken on climate change may also disrupt the ongoing public support services, leading to massive migration - especially to urban areas - that could make the city more crowded and exceed the capacity of an underserved citizen.

In addition, an increasingly hot climate could endanger energy supply. Climate change can exacerbate energy vulnerability, by extending dependence on unfriendly fossil fuels, reducing the capacity of thermal power plants (due to the scarcity of cooling water supplies), and causing fluctuating hydroelectric power generation due to uncertainty of water release. Energy vulnerability can lead to conflict because countries will compete for limited energy supplies.

To mitigate the impacts of climate change, this report underscores the importance of carrying out the commitments laid out in the Paris Agreement. These commitments include public and private investment that focuses on the rapid decarbonization of Asian economies, as well as the implementation of adaptation measures to protect the most vulnerable populations in the region.

Climate mitigation and adaptation efforts should also be mainstreamed into macro-level regional development strategies and micro-level project planning in all sectors, in addition to ongoing technological innovations and renewable energy for urban infrastructure and transportation. The report concludes that the Asia and Pacific region has the ability and influence to pursue sustainable development paths, curb global emissions, and encourage adaptation.

ADB approved $ 3.7 billion in climate financing in 2016, a new record, and is committed to continuing to increase its investment to $ 6 billion by 2020.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive growth, sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB has marked 50 years of development partnerships in the region. ADB is owned by 67 members-48 of whom are in the Asia and Pacific region. In 2016, ADB's total aid totaled $ 31.7 billion, including $ 14 billion in cofinancing .

Source: Asian Development Bank