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Rising Sea Levels to Impact East Asia’s Billions in Assets

Rising Sea Levels to Impact East Asia’s Billions in Assets

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Flooding in a coastal village in Asia (ADB Photo Library)

Flooding in a coastal village in Asia (ADB Photo Library)

Coastal areas in Asia and the Pacific remain highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and climate change which could bring about huge economic costs, a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

Teeming with people and economic activities, these coastal areas are prone to storm surges, coastal erosion, and floods resulting from rising sea levels, according to the report.

The report said about 12 million people in 23 East Asian cities are at risk of severe flooding. An estimated $864 billion in assets from these cities are “exposed” to 1-in-100-year floods.

Despite the huge risks, less than 0.3% of the countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) is needed to protect the most vulnerable sectors—including infrastructure, coastal zones, and agriculture—from the effects of climate change, the ADB report said.

By 2100, the mean cost of climate change for Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam could be equivalent to losing 6.7% of combined GDP each year, more than twice the global average loss.

The report added that about $5 billion would be the average yearly cost of adaptation measures in the four countries by 2020. The annual benefit in terms of avoided damage from climate change is likely to exceed the annual cost after 2060.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, up to 15.2% of Papua New Guinea’s annual GDP will be lost to climate change by 2100, the highest percentage in the Pacific. This is followed by Timor-Leste with potential losses of as much as 10%. Up to $775 million will be required per year to prepare these countries for the climate change worst case scenario, the report further said.

Story and photo courtesy of the Asian Development Bank

 

DOWNLOAD REPORT: Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific

Avatar of Coral Triangle Written by Coral Triangle

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