Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 12 News List

IMF says climate change could cause 7% per year drop in Southeast Asian GDP

AFP , HANOI

Economic growth in Southeast Asia could slow this century by almost 7 percent per year unless action is taken to counter climate change, a senior IMF official said yesterday.

“If nothing is done, Southeast Asia could lose the equivalent of 6.75 percent of GDP each year by the end of this century.

That’s more than twice the estimated global average,” IMF first deputy managing director John ­Lipsky told a ­conference in Hanoi.

He said climate change was “one of the greatest long-term risks facing the developing world” and Southeast Asia was particularly vulnerable because of its long populated coastlines and its reliance on agriculture, natural resources and forestry.

“The incipient effects of climate change already are notable: exacerbating water shortages, threatening food security and increasing health risks,” Lipsky said.

He was speaking to an international gathering of policymakers, diplomats, analysts and non-­governmental groups discussing post-crisis growth and poverty reduction in Asia’s developing countries.

In January, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the agency was planning a US$100 billion fund to help countries mitigate the effects of climate change.

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