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article imageDeveloping Nations Need $100 Billion Per Year for Climate Change

By Chris Dade     Sep 30, 2009 in Environment
A report released on Wednesday by the World Bank has concluded that developing nations may need as much as $100 billion per year, until 2050, to help them adapt to climate change.
The report was released in the Thai capital Bangkok, where 4,000 delegates from 177 nations and a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations are gathered for UN climate change talks that are due to last for 12 days from September 28 through October 9.
Titled The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change (EACC) and funded by the governments of the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom the report is, according to the Xinhua News Agency, the most comprehensive study so far produced on the cost of adapting to climate change.
By comparing a future world that experiences climate change with a future world without climate change the report identifies the actions needed to adapt to the world with climate change and then analyzes the cost of those actions, thereby arriving at the "adaptation costs".
Speaking at a press conference in Bangkok J. Warren Evans, Director Environment Department of the World Bank, said that the figure of $75-$100 billion per year needed for developing nations to adapt to climate change was arrived at by assuming that those countries' economies continue to grow at the same rate as they are at present and the increase in the earth's temperature by 2050 is 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Bloomberg says that the study by the World Bank talks of “more intense rainfall, droughts, floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events” resulting from the temperature increase assumed in its report. If the temperature increase was as much as 4 degree Celsius ( 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) then the result would be a greater "likelihood of irreversible and potentially catastrophic impacts such as the extinction of half of species worldwide, inundation of 30 percent of coastal wetlands”. Malnutrition and disease would also increase.
Bert Koenders, Minister for Development Cooperation in the Netherlands has commented on the report, which his government helped fund, saying:The World Bank study makes plain that taking action in favor of adaptation now can result in future savings and reduce unacceptable risks. At this point, the costs this will entail can still be borne by the international community
In terms of how the estimated cost of developing nations adapting to climate change compares to the current level of aid they receive from the developed world, Bloomberg reports that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has calculated that a record $119.8 billion was made available in aid last year by the nations in the developed world.
Jonathan Pershing, U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, is said to have stated within the last two days that there is still more information that needs to be collected before a package of climate- change financing can be agreed.
It should be noted that the World Bank report explains that spending the $75-$100 billion per year to address climate change in developing nations, which would be in addition to the aid currently being provided, would allow the developing world to “enjoy the same level of welfare in the future world as they would have without climate change”.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has claimed that "many" leaders within the developed world have recognized that funds need to be provided to tackle climate change in the developing world and are committed to providing those funds.
During the talks taking place in Bangkok it is hoped that a 200-page draft agreement that has been produced in readiness for the UN Climate Change Conference in December in Copenhagen can be revised so that a shorter version is available when negotiations in Denmark begin.
A further report, which will concentrate on seven specific countries and suggest how authorities in those countries might gain a better understanding of the risks of climate change and plan for adapting to that change, should be published by the spring of 2010.
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