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A new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns that 12 million people in 23 east Asian cities are at risk from rising sea levels, severe storms and more intense drought, caused by climate change that could endanger $864 billion in assets.
‘Economics of climate change in East Asia’ notes that while climate adaptation investments can be large, the aggregate cost to protect the most vulnerable sectors – infrastructure, coastal protection, and agriculture – would be less than 0.3% of East Asia’s GDP annually between 2010 and 2050.
The report recommends that China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Mongolia together invest an annual average of $22.9 billion for climate-proofing in the infrastructure sector, $4.2 billion for coastal protection, and $9.5 billion for the agricultural sector.
The report predicts that severe weather related to climate change will intensify, with one-in-20-year flooding occurring as often as every four years by 2050. When combined with rising sea levels, this is expected to cause huge swathes of land to disappear, forcing millions to migrate and wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture.
Rising sea levels could cause China to lose an estimated 102km2 of landmass per year between 2010 and 2050, the report says. Japan will lose more than a quarter of its coastal wetlands by 2050, and over the same time period, the Republic of Korea could lose up to a fifth of its coastal areas.
The report estimates that climate proofing all infrastructure in China, including roads and drainage, would cost up to $44 billion per year between 2010 and 2050.
The report also examines how the four countries can respond to the challenges of climate change through adaptation and mitigation.
Source : www.iwapublishing.com