University scholars have contributed to research showing poor countries need aid now to cope with climate change.
New research led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, an international research institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental change, shows that assistance in financing adaptation to climate change-related disasters is urgently needed, beginning now, for around two decades.
The scientific paper, titled Estimating least-developed countries’ vulnerability to climate-related extreme events over the next 50 years, is the first-ever analysis to look at both economic development and climate change in assessing how vulnerable the world’s poorest countries will be over the coming years.
It indicates that, in the second quarter of this century, economic development may begin to offset rising climate exposure.
However, between now and around 2030 the least developed countries will become more vulnerable. The report warns that natural disasters will seriously hamper these countries’ development efforts if they do not receive financial assistance to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.
The recent earthquake in Haiti has shown how vulnerable developing countries are to natural disasters. However, this paper indicates that if developing countries receive assistance now they will likely be able to cope on their own in the future.
Dr Marc Metzger
Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Change and Modelling, The University of Edinburgh
According to the scholars, the current level of international assistance is too low to allow the world’s least developed countries to cope with the impacts of climate change.
By analysing the effects of climate change and the slow pace of economic development over the next 50 years, the report developed a detailed set of scenarios for the future of Mozambique, as well as more general predictions for 23 other countries.
The other countries analysed were: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Haiti, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Vanuatu, and Zambia.
This article was published on Jun 16, 2010