Cancun, Mexico (AFP) Dec 3, 2010
By 2030, climate change will indirectly cause nearly one million deaths a year and inflict 157 billion dollars in damage, according to estimates presented at UN talks on Friday.
The biggest misery will be heaped on more than 50 of the world's poorest countries, but the United States will pay the highest economic bill, it said.
"In less than 20 years, almost all countries in the world will realise high vulnerability to climate impact as the planet heats up," the report warned.
The study, compiled by a humanitarian research organisation and climate-vulnerable countries, assessed how 184 nations will be affected in four areas: health, weather disasters, the loss of human habitat through desertification and rising seas, and economic stress.
Those facing "acute" exposure are 54 poor or very poor countries, including India. They will suffer disproportionately to others, although they are least to blame for the man-made greenhouse gases that drive climate change, it said.
"Without corrective actions" a press release accompanying the study said, the world is "headed for nearly one million deaths every single year by 2030."
More than half of the 157 billion dollars in economic losses, calculated in terms of today's economy, will take place in industrialised countries, led by the United States, Japan and Germany.
But the cost to their GDP will proportionately be far lower than for poor countries.
The peer-reviewed report was issued by DARA, a Madrid-based NGO, and by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of island nations and other countries that are most exposed to climate change.
Saleemul Huq, a researcher at a London-based thinktank, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), said the findings spelled out the need to start shoring up defenses against climate change now, rather than later.
"We are now entering into a highly vulnerable phase of our planet's existence and humanity's existence," Huq told a press conference.
"No amount of (greenhouse-gas) mitigation will prevent at least another 0.7 degree (Celsius, 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit) of temperature rise over the next two decades," he said.
"In the last century we have already seen a 0.7 degree (1.26 F) rise. So we are headed for 1.4 (2.5 F) almost certainly.
"If emissions carry on their current pathway then we may in the longer term be headed for three or four degrees (5.4-7.2 F), which is practically impossible for everybody to adapt to.
"But at the lower level, we can do a lot by adapting to the impacts of climate change, to prepare for them."
The November 29-December 10 talks in Cancun gather the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), tasked with crafting a deal to roll back global warming and its impacts after 2010.
Among the long list of problems they face is how to muster funds to tackle climate change -- and decide how much of the money should be allocated for adapting to the threat, and how much to reduce carbon emissions.
So far, adaptation has been given far less priority than emissions mitigation, say campaigners.
"When you know your car has a brake problem, you do not sit around and talk about it. You fix it immediately before the kids get in," commented Wendel Trio of Greenpeace.
"No one escapes from the climate crisis, old or young, rich or poor, unless we all act together now."
Previous studies into climate vulnerability have been more narrowly focussed and have a longer timeframe, looking at, for instance, the risks by 2100.
By focussing on what happens in a couple of decades, the report has a better chance of swaying policymakers, as these events are likely to happen within their lifetime, said former UNFCCC chief Michael Zammit Cutajar.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
Record-High Greenhouse Gas Concentrations
Geneva, Switzerland (SPX) Dec 02, 2010
The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations is also seen in the measurements made by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at the Pallas station, where the annual increase has been 2.0 ppm. The increase continued last year, too. These measurements also reflect the impact of seasonal variation: forests act as effective carbon sinks during the growing season, whereas in the autumn and winte ... read more
One million displaced need aid in southern Pakistan: UN|
For Israeli fireman, a devastating scene at forest blaze
Pakistan's flood aid 'unspent and mismanaged'
Nearly 100 children hurt in China school stampede: report
Psychology Theory Enables Computers To Mimic Human Creativity
Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems
German scientist eyes gold mine in rare earths recycling
Apple's iPad has real Xmas rival in Samsung's Galaxy tablet
Climate: UN report highlights ocean acidification
Electrified Nano Filter Promises To Cut Costs For Clean Drinking Water
Climate: UN report highlights ocean acidification
Effects Of El Nino Land South Pacific Reef Fish In Hot Water
Global Sea-Level Rise At The End Of The Last Ice Age
Jack Pine Genetics Support A Coastal Glacial Refugium
US designates 'critical' polar bear habitat in Arctic
Operation IceBridge Completes Another Successful Antarctic Campaign
Study: Africa capable of feeding itself
Court Affirms Right Of Local Governments To Protect Farmland
Rewarding Eco-Friendly Farmers Can Help Combat Climate Change
Agriculture And International Climate Change Negotiations
Sirens blare as rising waters flood Venice
Thousands evacuated in Western Balkans flooding
Thousands of flooded Venezuelans wait for help
Indonesia downgrades Mount Merapi volcano alert
Nigeria frees soldiers jailed for mutiny over pay
I.Coast closes borders amid election chaos: army
Guinea closes borders
New north-south war in Sudan would cost 100 bln dlrs: study
Apes Unwilling To Gamble When Odds Are Uncertain
Jet-Lagged And Forgetful? It's No Coincidence
Single drop of blood could reveal age
Study Reveals Neural Basis Of Rapid Brain Adaptation
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|