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Climate Change in South Asia : a threat for Thailand

Climate Change in South Asia : Rising temperatures and humidity due to climate change are likely to increase the number of days with unsafe “heat stress,” putting Thailand at risk of a significant drop in productivity

Boris Sullivan

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Unless there is a concerted effort worldwide to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, South Asia will suffer huge economic, social, and environmental damage from the consequences of climate change.

Rising temperatures and humidity due to climate change are likely to increase the number of days with unsafe “heat stress,” putting Thailand at risk of a significant drop in productivity.

Thailand’ capital with three of the 50 highest-risk cities, could lose 12% of its labour capacity over the next three decades due to rising heat stress, which could cause absenteeism due to dizziness, fatigue, nausea and even death in extreme cases, the British firm Verisk Maplecroft said.

Across Southeast Asia, the company predicted the biggest losses in productivity in Singapore and Malaysia, with 25% and 24% decreases from current levels. Indonesia could see a 21% drop, and 16% in Cambodia and the Philippines.

Climate Change in South Asia : 12 Things to Know

  1. A warming trend of about 0.75°C has been observed in annual mean temperatures in South Asia over the past century.
    Source: ADB report Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  2. Between 1990 and 2008, over 750 million people in South Asia were affected by at least one natural disaster, resulting in almost 230,000 deaths.
    Source: ADB report Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  3. The livelihoods of more than 200 million people in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are threatened by the rapid loss of snow cover in the Himalayas and rising sea levels.
    Source: ADB news release Clean Technologies Could Cut South Asia Emissions by a Fifth by 2020 at Little Cost
  4. Without global action on climate change, temperatures may rise by 4.6°C. The collective economy of six countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka – could shrink by up to 1.8% every year by 2050 and 8.8% by 2100, on average.
    Source: ADB report Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  5. If the global community succeeds in keeping the mean temperature rise to 2°C or less under the Copenhagen-Cancun agreement, South Asia’s economy would, on average, only be reduced by 1.3% annually by 2050 and 2.5% by 2100.
    Source: ADB report Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  6. Under the mean temperature rise of 2°C or less scenario, annual adaptation costs for South Asia would be on average 0.36% of gross domestic product, or $31 billion, by 2050 and 0.48% of GDP, or $41 billion by 2100.
    Source: ADB report Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  7. While GHG emissions in South Asia have historically been low, the high rate of urbanization is causing energy consumption and fossil fuel use to grow rapidly.
    Source: ADB report Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  8. Unless clean technologies are deployed, energy-related GHG emissions from Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka will rise from about 58 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2005 to about 245 million in 2030, largely due to rising energy consumption by industry and transport.
    Source: ADB report Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs
  9. Cities in South Asia are suffering from the growing problem of solid waste disposal. Total annual GHG emissions from solid waste for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were estimated to reach 106 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2005 and 606 million tons by 2030.
    Source: ADB report Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  10. Introducing green technologies that only cost up to $10 per ton of GHG emissions could cut 20% off 2020’s projected energy-related annual emissions.
    Source: ADB report Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs
  11. Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka provide ideal climactic conditions for the organic decomposition of waste matter that generates methane gas, which can be converted to clean energy.
    Source: ADB report Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  12. Introducing a carbon tax in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka could help these countries shift toward clean, renewable sources and prevent the release of almost 1 billion tons of energy-related GHGs between now and 2030.
    Source: ADB report Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs

Source: Climate Change in South Asia: 12 Things to Know | Asian Development Bank

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