Reuters BANGKOK (Reuters) — Climate change will bring soaring temperatures, more intense storms, erratic rainfall, plummeting crop yields and a collapse of coral reefs to the Asia-Pacific unless countries fully implement their commitments under the Paris climate pact, scientists said Friday, calling the challenges “unprecedented.”
The region’s future growth and security — as well as the welfare of hundreds of millions of people — are at stake, said a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
“Countries in Asia and the Pacific are at the highest risk of plummeting into deeper poverty — and disaster — if [climate change] mitigation and adaptation efforts are not quickly and strongly implemented,” said Bambang Susantono, the ADB’s vice president for sustainable development.
The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which came into force last November, pledges to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 C to 2 C above pre-industrial times.
Early and aggressive measures are needed to achieve that goal, the report said. If the world continues to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases as now, global mean temperature would increase by over 4 C by the end of the century, with parts of the Asia-Pacific seeing a rise of 6 C, it added.
Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern China could experience even hotter climates, with temperatures rising 8 C, it added.
This would bring drastic changes in the region’s weather, biodiversity, agriculture and fisheries, and drive migration as some parts become less habitable, said the report.