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APAC unprepared to face climate-induced catastrophes

Most countries in Asia and the Pacific are insufficiently prepared to face extreme weather events and natural disasters according to a new study by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The extreme weather and Nat CAT events are growing in intensity and frequency due in part to climate change according to the ESCAP report Findings in the Race to Net Zero: Accelerating Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific. The 96-page report reveals that countries in the region lack sizeable financial means to support adaptation and mitigation efforts and the data necessary for climate action.

Over the past 60 years, temperatures in Asia and the Pacific have increased faster than the global mean. Six of the top 10 countries most affected by disasters are in the region, where food systems are disrupted, economies damaged, and societies undermined.

The report further says that while the region suffers the worst consequences of climate change, it is also a major perpetrator, accounting for over half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This share is increasing as populations grow and economies continue to be powered by fossil fuels.

ESCAP executive secretary and UN under-secretary general Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said, “Measures to put the economies of Asia and the Pacific on a low-carbon pathway and adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, must be front and centre of the region’s post-pandemic recovery.”

In a press statement ESCAP said that the sum of countries’ actions in nationally determined contributions to cut emissions and adapt to climate change falls short of the required ambition under the Paris agreement.

The ESCAP report sets out the transformations needed in three main sectors – energy, low-carbon mobility and logistics, and international trade and investment. It further provides concrete proposals on how these major shifts can be financed and how better to measure challenges and progress towards a net-zero carbon future in support of sustainable development.



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