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Climate change to hit Asia hard, says ADB

Staff Writer |
Climate change will bring soaring temperatures, more intense storms, erratic rainfall, plummeting crop yields and a collapse of coral reefs to Asia-Pacific.

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That will happen unless nations fully implement their commitments according to the Paris climate pact, a report said yesterday, calling the challenges “unprecedented.”

The region’s growth and security — as well as the welfare of hundreds of millions of people — are at stake, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) said in the report.

“Countries in Asia and the Pacific are at the highest risk of plummeting into deeper poverty — and disaster — if [climate change] mitigation and adaptation efforts are not quickly and strongly implemented,” ADB vice-president for sustainable development Bambang Susantono said.

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which came into force in November last year, pledges to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5C to 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Early and aggressive measures are needed to achieve that goal, the report said.

If the world continues to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases as of now, global mean temperature would increase by over 4C by the end of the century, with parts of Asia-Pacific seeing a rise of 6C, it said.

Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern China could experience even hotter climates, with temperatures rising 8C, it said. This would bring drastic changes in the region’s weather, biodiversity, agriculture and fisheries, and drive migration as some parts become less habitable, the report said.

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