Today's Paper

Global warming could hurt Asia’s progress

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Global warming is set to reverse decades of social and economic progress across Asia, home to more than four billion people or 60 per cent of the world’s population, according to a new multi-agency report, “Up in smoke: Asia and the Pacific,” released here on Monday.

The report, fourth in a series compiled by development and environmental groups, including Oxfam and Greenpeace, says there is growing consensus on the huge challenges that face Asia. However, there is “now enough knowledge about the causes of climate change, how the world must tackle it, and how people in Asia must continue to adapt to it.”

Suggesting that immediate action is vital, the report points out that “unequivocal” climate change is occurring, and warns that man-made global warming can lead to abrupt or irreversible impacts. If no action is taken, 30 per cent of India’s food production could be lost.

The report recommends that the international community commit itself to meaningful and mandatory emission cuts to ensure that the global temperature increases stay below 2° Celsius.

It notes that rich countries must honour their commitments to renewable energy. “India alone has the potential to provide 60 per cent of its electricity with renewable sources by 2050. The international community must also urgently assess the full global costs facing poor countries having to adapt to climate change and give new funds.”

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