Climate Change Poses Grave Risk to Nepal’s Economy: ADB

Aug 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Nepal

Republica: Climate change-driven events like melting glaciers pose a grave risk to Nepal’s economy and could cause losses equal to almost 10 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2100, according to a report by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Without changes to current global behavior, Nepal would see economic losses equivalent to up to 2.2 percent of annual GDP by 2050, widening to 9.9 percent by the end of the century. 

“But if mitigation and adaptation steps are taken, the damage could be limited to around 2.4% of GDP by 2100,” states the report “Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia”.

Melting glaciers, which form high-altitude lakes that can suddenly breach and cause catastrophic flooding downstream, also pose a risk to both human settlements and hydropower systems. In mountainous areas, landslides are likely to increase, threatening lives and infrastructure.

Deteriorating and dwindling forests will result in habitat losses for some of the country’s rich flora and fauna, including snow leopards, undermining the country’s appeal for ecotourists, the report states.

The report also predicts the six countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka—will see an average economic loss of 1.8 percent of their collective GDP every year by 2050, rising sharply to 8.8 percent in 2100.

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