Massive investments needed to protect sensitive areas against extreme weather: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-11 03:12:51|Editor: yan
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THE HAGUE, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- To protect sensitive areas worldwide against extreme weather, an investment of more than 1.6 trillion euros (1.8 trillion U.S. dollars) is needed, concludes the organization Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) in a report on Tuesday.

Climate change is, according to the GCA, one of the greatest threats facing humanity, with far-reaching and devastating impacts on people, the environment and the economy. The organization based in the Netherlands therefore calls for more investments in the environment and infrastructure to be better prepared for weather extremes.

"Global actions to slow climate change are promising but insufficient," the GCA stated in the report. "We must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable: higher temperatures, rising seas, fiercer storms, more unpredictable rainfall, and more acidic oceans."

"Failing to lead and act on adaptation will result in a huge economic and human toll, causing widespread increases in poverty and severely undermining long-term global economic prospects," the GCA added.

The extreme weather would also cause more and more casualties every year, according to the GCA, with heat, drought and flooding affecting many countries. Rising seas and greater storm surges could force hundreds of millions of people in coastal cities from their homes.

Economic consequences could be enormous, according the GCA. Without adaptation, climate change may depress growth in global agriculture yields up to 30 percent by 2050. In addition, climate change could push more than 100 million people within developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.

The GCA focuses on solutions such as a climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection and investments in making water resources more resilient.

"The good news is that adaptation, done right, will lead to better growth and development," the GCA stated. "It will also protect nature, reduce inequalities, and create opportunities. Adaptation can deliver high rates of return, bringing multiple benefits to people and the economy."

The research concluded that investing 1.6 trillion euros (1.8 trillion U.S. dollars) globally in the five areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate 6.4 trillion euros (7.1 trillion U.S. dollars) in total net benefits.