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Page added on September 29, 2009

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Risky business: insuring countries against climate catastrophe

HONG KONG, China (CNN) — The last fifty years have borne witness to a spate of climate related disasters across the world causing over 800,000 fatalities and $1 trillion in economic loss.

Those stark facts come from the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) Working Group, a group of NGOs and corporations that has produced a report warning that if countries do not take active steps to build resilience to climate change soon, they are likely to suffer even larger economic losses in the coming decades.

According to the ECA report published on September 14, climate catastrophes have risen in direct proportion to global temperatures over the last several years.

Developing nations are especially under threat, according to Cristina Rumbaitis Del Rio, Associate Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and a key researcher in the report.

By 2030 they stand to lose between one and 12 percent of GDP given current weather patterns. Higher global temperatures are likely to exacerbate future climate disasters, falling crop yields and lack of water availability.

When future economic growth and climate change are factored into these figures, the total potential climate-related loss to 2030 rises to as much as 19 percent of GDP in certain countries such as Guyana (one of the countries studies in the report).


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