WB: East Asia-Pacific region's adaptation to climate change pricy

17:55, September 30, 2009      

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A new global study report on adaptation cost for climate change, released Wednesday by World Bank, says that East Asia and Pacific region will need more fund than any other regions in the world to adapt to climate change.

According to the finding of the study, The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change (EACC), the adaptation cost of East Asia and Pacific region equals to 25 percent or 19.6 percent, in "Wet" or "Dry" scenarios separately, of the total amount for all the developing countries in the world.

The study sees that a total of 75 billion to 100 billion U.S. dollars will be necessary to cover the cost for developing countries to adapt to climate change per year for the period 2010 to 2050.

There are two key reasons why the adaptation cost by East Asia and Pacific region is the highest, said J. Warren Evans, Director Environment Department of the World Bangk, who host a press conference at the sidelines of the ongoing UN Climate Change Talkshere.

One reason is that the infrastructure, say drainage system, in this region need more investment to improve so as to resist the impact of climate change, said Evans, citing Manila, which has been suffering the 40-year-record flood due to the tropical storm Ketsana.

The storm dumped more than a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours in the Philipines' capital and many other provinces, and the flood took a death toll 246, leaving nearly 2 million people homeless across the country.

The other reason, he said, is this region has a large coastal zone with high population, which requires particularly more fund.

Among the cost of adaptation by sectors, costal zones consume the largest part, 29.6 percent or 30.1 percent, in "Wet" or "Dry" scenarios separately, the report estimates.

The report roused more voices that urge the earlier set-up of a sound financing mechanism to deal with climate change issue, as this year's fourth round of UN Climate Change Talks goes on here.

Kim Carstensen, director of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on climate issue, sees the report a strong reminder that we should act immediately to address the climate change issue, or else the cost will be "very expensive."

"Developed countries need to take action, make deep emissions cuts and financial commitments to help the most vulnerable to fight climate change," he said.

The report is released at the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Talks here, which is the latest round of a series of talks that will lead to the UN Climate Change Conference in December in Copenhagen.

About 4,000 international delegates from 177 countries attend the 12-day talks in Bangkok from September 28 to October 9, with the goal to narrow down the 200-page draft agreement for Copenhagen to something more manageable. Along the way, the negotiations also hope to close the gap between rich and poor positions and come close to agreement on such issues as reducing deforestation and sharing climate-friendly technology.

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