Climate change-related hazards have cost India and China billions, says UN

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Oct 27, 2021, 12:28 PM IST

The emblem of the United Nations. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

United Nations has released its annual  'State of the Climate in Asia' report. Among other things, it has mentioned the cost Asian nations have had to bear due to climate change-related hazards

Adverse impact of climate change on nature is well-known but often when things are expressed in monetary terms, the enormity of the problem at hand is fully realised.

The latest report from the United Nations has said that climate-related hazards have cost developing and developed Asian economies billions of dollars.

The report said that such hazards cost China USD 238 billion. China was followed by India which had to bear the cost of USD 87 billion. Japan and South Korea were next with climate-related costs of USD 83 billion and USD 24 billion respectively.

The figures have been mentioned in UN's annual 'State of the Climate in Asia' report. The report also said that 2020 was the hottest year on record for Asia.

Climate change does not just mean increase in global temperature. It also has effects on other natural phenomena like cyclones. Scientists say that climate change results in formation of higher intensity cyclones which in turn cause greater devastation.

Many weather and climate-related displacements in Asia are prolonged, with people unable to return home or integrate locally, the report said.

In 2020 floods and storms affected approximately 50 million people in Asia, resulting in more than 5,000 fatalities.

Asia's warmest year on record saw the mean temperature 1.39 degrees Celsius above the 1981–2010 average.
The 38.0 C registered at Verkhoyansk in Russia is provisionally the highest known temperature anywhere north of the Arctic Circle.

Shrinking glaciers

There are approximately 100,000 square kilometres of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas -- the largest volumes of ice outside the polar regions and the source of 10 major Asian rivers.

"Glacier retreat is accelerating and it is projected that glacier mass will decrease by 20 percent to 40 percent by 2050, affecting the lives and livelihoods of about 750 million people in the region," the report said.

"This has major ramifications for global sea level, regional water cycles and local hazards such as landslides and avalanches."

A quarter of Asia's mangroves are in Bangladesh. However, the tropical storm-exposed country's mangroves decreased by 19 percent from 1992 to 2019, the report said.

(With inputs from agencies)