Climate Change Has Heightened Threat To Asia’s Infrastructure And Socioeconomic Sustainability

The Report highlights untapped economic opportunities in the low carbon ‘green economy’

The latest report from Climate Change Tracker reveals a dire situation in Asia, with rapidly rising temperatures and escalating risks to communities.The report further solidifies the undeniable scientific consensus that climate change is rapidly intensifying, leaving us limited time to act. As the most populous continent, Asia will experience the most acute impacts of rising temperatures and climate-induced disasters.

This report only adds to what has become indisputable science: climate change is accelerating and we’re running out of time to address it. And it’s Asia, the world’s most populous continent, which will bear the impacts of climate change & global warming most in terms of temperature rise, drought, floods, unprecedented rains etc The climate-related disasters.

According to this study, human-induced warming has now reached 1.3°C, and is increasing at a rapid pace. The most ambitious threshold of the Paris agreements, 1.5°C of global warming, now seems very close.

Last year saw a large increase in global mean surface temperature. Compared to 1.09°C from the previous assessment conducted in 2021, the temperature average jumped to 1.3°C above the pre-industrial mean in 2023.

According to a report from the World Meteorological Association (WMO) released earlier this year, Asia is the world’s most disaster-prone region, and the current state of climate change is making it worse.

Many countries in the region experienced their hottest year on record in 2023, along with a barrage of extreme conditions, from Japan and India to Thailand and Vietnam.The exceptional warming of the past year means that the 1.5°C budget is smaller than ever.

It falls in line with what the last report from the IPCC found, which noted that climate warming has heightened the threat to Asia’s infrastructure and socioeconomic sustainability.

For Asia-Pacific, climate change poses an ‘existential threat’ of extreme weather, worsening poverty and risks to public health, says a UNDP report also. It says- Asia-Pacific countries experienced, on average, six natural disasters a year over the past three decades – about twice as many as developing countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and about three times as many as in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2022 alone, extreme weather events are linked to over 7,500 deaths, affecting over 64 million people, and causing economic damage estimated at US$57 billion. The report sees natural disasters, forced migration, the risk of pandemics and worsening poverty as some of the threats that could coalesce as the climate crisis worsens.

In Asia-Pacific, fossil fuels still account for 85 per cent of all energy consumption. The region covers the entire spectrum of the climate cause-and-effect story today. Fast growing economies reliant on fossil fuels to meet growing energy demand are accounting for an ever larger share of global emissions.

At the other end of the spectrum are the small Pacific Island States, which contribute only 0.01 percent to global emissions but must grapple with immediate and existential threats such as rising sea levels.

“The region urgently needs to transition towards carbon-neutral and climate-resilient development,” says the Report.

The Report highlights untapped economic opportunities in the low carbon ‘green economy’ and sustainable technologies for the region, emphasizing the importance of economic growth but envisioning a shift to the ‘right kind of growth.’

The writer of this article is Dr. Seema Javed, an environmentalist & a communications professional in the field of climate and energy

Related Articles

Back to top button