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Developing nations warn climate death toll could reach 100 M

Categories: Science & Technology

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DARA's new report, which is over 340 pages long, summarizes the human and economic impacts of climate change on 184 countries -- the poorest of which will be harder hit. (DARA)



A comprehensive new report commissioned by 20 developing countries is urging global leaders to aggressively tackle climate change, pointing to the estimated 100 million people whose lives are at risk if the world continues down the same path.

Taken together, the report argues that environmental disasters, habitat change, health impacts and stresses on industry are already spawning grave human and economic costs - particularly in the world's poorest nations.

The humanitarian organization DARA completed the graphic-rich report at the request of the multinational Climate Vulnerable Forum, which includes countries like Bangladesh, Ghana, Costa Rica, Pakistan and Vietnam.

'Climate change is not just a distant threat but a present danger. Its economic impact is already with us.'

-- Michael Zammit Cutajar, former executive secretary of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change

The researchers assessed the impact of climate change and its offshoots - like wildfires, droughts, desertification - as well as the spoils of the carbon economy - like oil spills, air pollution, and loss of biodiversity - in 184 countries. They measured related impacts in 2010 and also made projections for 2030.

In addition to the death toll, the brunt of which will be seen in developing countries, the report argues that changing climates are already costing the global economy $1.2 trillion USD a year (or 1.6 per cent of world's GDP ) - losses that are likely to double to 3.2 per cent by 2030 if the world remains dependent on carbon-intensive economies.

Some of the monitor's key findings are as follows:

  • Climate change and carbon-intensive economies are already responsible for 5 million deaths each year: 400,000 due to climate-aggravated hunger and disease and 4.5 million largely caused by air pollution
  • Losses for lower-income countries are already extreme, and by 2030 will be roughly 11 per cent of GDP on average for the least developed countries
  • Major world economies are also vulnerable, and China is likely to be the hardest hit. India and the U.S., at 5 and 2 per cent of GDP respectively, will also suffer economic losses.

Do you think richer nations are doing enough to mitigate the most harmful effects of rising global temperatures? Should they pay more attention to the climate-related reports and recommendations commissioned by poorer nations?




(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies.)

Tags: environment, Science & Technology, World

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