Economic climate change pain for Pacific

THE economic impact of climate change will hurt Papua New Guinea more than any other nation in the Pacific, according to a report released by the Asian Development Bank.
Economic climate change pain for Pacific Economic climate change pain for Pacific Economic climate change pain for Pacific Economic climate change pain for Pacific Economic climate change pain for Pacific

Experts estimate climate change may trigger a loss of up to 15.2% of PNG's gross domestic product by the end of the century.

ADB's report, Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific, includes modelling of future climate over the Pacific region, assessments of the potential impacts on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, coral reefs, and human health.

It also includes predictions of the potential economic impact of climate change for specific sectors and economies under various emissions scenarios.

According to the report, the most significant economic losses would be felt in PNG, where climate change impacts could trigger a loss of up to 15.2% by 2100.

Timor-Leste's GDP is predicted to drop by up to 10%, followed by Vanuatu at 6.2%, Solomon Islands at 4.7%, Fiji at 4.0% and Samoa at 3.8%.

As a result, the ADB said the Pacific region could require up to $775 million or 2.5% of GDP per year to prepare for the worst scenario.

ADB Pacific department director general Xianbin Yao said: "It is critical that countries contributing to the problem of climate change step up to assist Pacific friends and neighbours in the fight to protect their countries against natural disasters, crop losses, and forced migration.

"Our findings show that if not adequately addressed, climate change could overturn the region's development achievements," he added.

Under a medium emissions scenario, PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu could see temperatures rise by 2-3ÃÆ'â€Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚°C by 2070, which could lead to significant decreases in rain-fed agriculture, reduced fish catches, widespread coral bleaching, and falling tourism numbers.

The report notes that the negative effect on agriculture contributes to most of the total economic cost of climate change in the Pacific, and estimates that the Pacific region could require $447 million until 2050, and up to $775 million or 2.5% of GDP per year to prepare for the worst scenario.

ADB's report recommends policy leaders take urgent action to mainstream climate change mitigation into development planning and develop forward-looking adaptation strategies.

It also recommends climate-proofing infrastructure to improve long-term sustainability and boosting capacity of Pacific countries to deal with climate change on their own.

Pacific countries will also need dramatically improved access to global and regional climate change funds, the report concludes.

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