World Summit of Governments: “Climate change causes $2 billion in damage every year in the MECA region” – News

The IMF chief warned that climate shocks over the coming decades will present a daunting challenge for all nations.



PA

Published: Wed, March 30, 2022, 3:00 PM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday called on countries in the Middle East and Central Asia (MECA) region to drastically reduce their carbon emissions, as climate-related disasters in the region have injured and displaced seven million people and caused more an average of 2,600 deaths per year.

At the launch of the ‘Feeling the Heat’ report at the World Government Summit at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Wednesday, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, said the climate change catastrophe is causing $2 billion in physical damage to the MECA region.

“We also know that extreme weather events typically reduce annual economic growth by 1-2 percentage points per capita. In the Caucasus and Central Asia subregion, the event caused a permanent loss in the level of GDP by 5.5 percentage points,” Georgieva said.

“Today’s climate challenges are already taking a heavy toll. And we know that our planet will continue to warm. Even taking into account the significant reductions in global emissions, by 2050 average summer temperatures could exceed 30°C in half of the countries of the region,” issued a stern warning from the director of the IMF.

The launch of the IMF report took place in the presence of Maryam Al Muhairi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates; Mohammed bin Hadi Al Husseini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs of the United Arab Emirates; and Yasmine Fouad, Egyptian Minister for the Environment.

The IMF chief stressed that countries in the region need to drastically reduce their emissions to stabilize global temperatures and make the challenge of adaptation more manageable.

She also called for prioritizing justified high-value, “no-regrets” risk management measures under all plausible future climate scenarios while building adaptive capacity to future changes.

The IMF chief warned that climate shocks over the coming decades will present a daunting challenge for all nations.

“With only 1.1°C of warming, that’s what we are experiencing today. We already have half of the world’s population facing water scarcity and this problem is strongly felt in this region. We know that the frequency of the severity of climatic events has intensified and this is particularly dramatic when it comes to droughts, floods and hurricanes in the most vulnerable communities and poor countries.

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The IMF report estimated that extreme weather events in a typical year reduce GDP per capita by 1-2%.

“We need to stabilize global temperatures by drastically reducing CO2 emissions. We are not in the best places. We need to cut emissions by 50% in this decade if we want to keep a maximum of 1.5°C as our goal,” she said.

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