September 30, 2009

Poorest Countries Need Billions In Fight Against Global Warming

In order to counter the effects of global warming, developing nations would have to cough up around 100 billion dollars every year for 40 years, said a World Bank report released in The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday.

By assuming the planet is two degrees Celsius warmer by 2050, "the study puts the cost of adapting...at 75 billion to 100 billion dollars a year" from 2010, according to an investigation commissioned by Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

"What we try to show with this report is the urgency of ensuring that there are sufficient funds for adaptation" for poor countries, Dutch Development Minister Bert Koenders commented after receiving the report.

"It is for many countries a question of life and death," he added.

"There will be no climate deal in Copenhagen if there is no financing for adaptation," speaking of the UN climate summit scheduled to take place there in December.

The report listed East Asia, South Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa as the nations most affected by global warming.

The European Union, Japan and the United States claim to understand that the money must be procured, but they also contend that funding "does not necessarily have to come from national budgets", Koenders said.

"The big political debate is now about the figures, that is why it is very important to have objective figures from this report."

He also said that developing countries have to have more aid in addition to traditional development assistance in order to cope with the climate change.

Heading the study was World Bank economist Sergio Margulis, who said the costs of global warming will only increase.

"Development is the most powerful form of adaptation," the report said.

"It makes economies less reliant on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture. It boosts the capacity of households to adapt by increasing levels of incomes, health and education.

"It enhances the ability of governments to assist by improving the institutional infrastructure. And it dramatically reduces the number of people killed by floods and affected by floods and droughts."

Development also refers to growing crops that can withstand both drought and floods, and climate proofing infrastructure, the report said.

According to Margulis, both developing and developed countries have to bear the responsibility to cut CO2 emissions "to avoid the unmanageable consequences of higher temperatures".

The report included an urgent statement that if the issue is not dealt with, global warming would cause the death of half the species on the planet, flood 30 percent of coastal wetlands, and cause a drastic rise in malnutrition and disease.


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