Fri, Sep 13, 2019 - Page 9 News List

World ‘gravely’ unprepared for
effects of climate crisis: report

Trillions of dollars are needed to avoid climate apartheid,’ but this is less than the cost of inaction

By Damian Carrington  /  The Guardian

“As one of the governments that commissioned this important GCA report, the UK must heed its conclusions about the large economic benefits from adapting to those impacts of climate change that cannot now be avoided,” said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

“This summer has shown that the UK is not adapted to the changing climate of this century, with heavier rainfall and more frequent and intense heatwaves. Successive environment ministers have failed to give this issue the attention it needs, leading to greater damage to lives and livelihoods,” he said.

Cutting carbon emissions is vital, but this has received nearly 20 times more funding than adaptation in recent years, the report said.

Climate effects must be factored into decisions by those who make choices about the future, such as business leaders, it said.

Verkooijen said nations should follow France in making it compulsory for large companies to report the climate risks to their businesses.

Coping with the climate storm

Early warning systems: Just 24 hours’ warning of a coming storm or heatwave can cut the ensuing damage by 30 percent, saving lives and protecting assets worth at least 10 times the cost of the alert system. In Bangladesh, such systems, plus shelters and coastal protection, have already saved hundreds of thousands of lives since the Bhola cyclone in 1970 killed at least 300,000 people.

Climate-ready infrastructure: Such measures can add 3 percent to the upfront costs, but save US$4 for every US$1 spent. Flood protection is key, and Shanghai and other Chinese “sponge cities” are deploying porous pavements, rooftop gardens and trees in parks to soak up water from downpours. Relatively simple measures can also be effective, such as painting roofs with reflective white paint. In the Indian city of Ahmedabad, this has cut temperatures in the rooms below by 5°C.

Mangrove protection: These coastal forests buffer storms, protecting 18 million people and preventing US$80 billion a year in flood damage. They also provide nurseries for fish and tourist attractions worth billions. However, construction, pollution and global heating have destroyed many mangrove forests, from Australia to Mexico. The GCA says the benefits of mangrove preservation and restoration are up to 10 times the cost.

This story has been viewed 2583 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top